Dental Hygiene Department - Dental Hygiene Advising

Updated advising and application information will be available after Sept. 1, 2015.

Note: The new 2016 application deadline is mid-December 2015, this is a change from previous years.


Students who are considering dental hygiene as a professional career path are encouraged to consider carefully the Traits/Behaviors of a Successful Dental Hygienist below. It is also recommend that potential students observe a registered dental hygienist and ask questions about the benefits of the profession, why they chose this career, etc.

The Profession of Dental Hygiene

A dental hygienist is a licensed health professional dedicated to the prevention and treatment of oral diseases. A dental hygienist licensed in the State of Washington is an oral health educator and clinician taught to perform all aspects of treating gingival and periodontal diseases (gum disease), some restorative procedures (placing and carving or finishing fillings), and the administration of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation.

Character/Behaviors of a Successful Dental Hygienist

  • Be inquisitive/intrigued about the oral environment (mouth, teeth, tissue, and its relationship to the whole body).
  • Enjoy interacting with people and have the ability to show compassion and caring, and to place the patient's welfare first.
  • Have sufficient emotional, mental, and physical stamina to withstand the stresses and uncertainties that characterize the practice of dental hygiene.
  • Have an ability to disregard or at least tolerate oral mouth odors and blood, food debris, etc., in the mouth.
  • Be respectful of self and others' views and rights.
  • Be organized and detailed.
  • Enjoy fine motor tasks.
  • Be able to communicate effectively (reading, writing and verbally/non-verbally).
  • Be responsible for one's own learning and accountable for one's own actions.
  • Be ethical and act with integrity, intellectual ability, physical competency, and personal responsibility.

Benefits of the Dental Hygiene Profession

  • Job security: Demand is high for clinicians everywhere, particularly in rural areas.
  • Flexibility: Work part-time, full-time, partial days, etc. Schedules can be arranged to clinician's preference.
  • Variety: Diversity in locations, patients, technology, and the evolving science of dental hygiene.

DH Program Advising Information
Email: Voice: 253-964-6796

Fulltime Dental Hygiene Faculty

Monica Hospenthal
R.D.H., B.S., M.Ed.
Program Director/Fulltime Professor

Kathy B. Bassett
Fulltime Professor/Risk Management Officer

Mary Galagan
Fulltime Professor/Community Health and Extramurals

Carolyn D. Roberton
Fulltime Professor/Liaison
Student Chapter of ADHA

Pierce College Dental Hygiene Department Faculty & Staff

Postal Address

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
Dental Hygiene Department
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98498-1999