Dental Hygiene

Associate in Science Degree (AS)

Dental Hygiene Program Contacts

Dental Hygiene Program Websites

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The Dental Hygiene Program consists of 39.5 units of prerequisite courses in addition to 45.5 units of dental hygiene courses. Students are required to complete additional general education and graduation requirements to earn an AS degree in Dental Hygiene. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and can be contacted at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611.  Program graduates are eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, the California RDH Examination, and other state and regional licensing examinations.  In addition to normal student expenses (tuition, books, etc.), the Dental Hygiene Program requires an expenditure of over $4,500 during the two-year program for uniforms, instruments, and special supplies.  More than $3,500 will be needed at the beginning of the first semester.  If this creates a financial burden, students should consult the Financial Aid Office for possible assistance one semester before entering the program.

Career Opportunities

This program prepares the student for employment as a dental hygienist. The registered dental hygienist is a licensed, professional, oral health educator, and clinician who works under the direction and supervision of a licensed dentist to provide preventive and therapeutic services for the control of oral diseases. Dental hygienists aid individuals and groups in attaining and maintaining optimum oral and general health through provision of services such as assessment of medical and dental conditions, oral hygiene education, oral prophylaxis – the removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the teeth – and application of preventive agents such as fluoride and sealants. The dental hygienist may be employed in dental offices, schools, health care facilities, public health agencies, industry, and educational institutions.

Recommended Preparation

High school and college preparatory courses including algebra, biology, chemistry, and physiology are recommended.

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • use evidence based care to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene treatment for a diverse population based on their total needs.
  • incorporate and apply professional, ethical, legal and regulatory concepts to oral health care services, community projects, and professional activities.
  • integrate and apply health literacy and culturally competent communication skills to oral health care services, academic endeavors, community projects, and professional activities.
  • assess, plan, implement, and evaluate community-based oral health projects.
  • successfully complete written and clinical examinations for dental hygiene licensure and certification.
  • apply critical thinking and self assessment skills to enhance learning, research, patient care, professional growth, and continued competency.