Dental Hygiene

Train to Work as a Registered Dental Hygienist

SJVC’s Dental Hygiene program prepares students to work as registered dental hygienists. Benefits of this program include comprehensive instruction, small class sizes, high board pass rates and accreditation by ADA-CODA.

Dental Hygiene Program Details

Skills Students Learn

Our Dental Hygiene students learn:

  • Computerized dental management/charting software
  • CAESY (Clinically Advanced Education Systems) computerized patient education
  • Intra-Oral cameras
  • Digital and traditional X-ray techniques
  • Hand-and-ultrasonic instruments for advanced scaling and root planing methods

Program Course Examples

Courses* taken by our Dental Hygiene students include:

Dental Health Education
This course covers the principles and practices of prevention and control of dental disease with emphasis on plaque control, motivation and chair-side patient education. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Oral Biology with Lab
This course covers the study of embryology and histology of oral structural formation, clinical recognition of normal oral structures, the physiological and structural functions of teeth and supporting tissues, and oral anatomy relative to the proper dental hygiene procedures. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

Oral Radiology with Lab
These courses provide the didactic, laboratory and clinical learning experiences to enable the student to distinguish the normal anatomical features of the oral cavity as they appear radiographically. Normal and pathological conditions, placing film for x-rays, and analyzing the quality of exposed radiographs will be covered. A grade of “C” or better is required to earn credit for this course.

*Students will take additional program courses on top of the three listed courses. Courses may vary by program, credential level and campus.

Program Outcomes

Our Dental Hygiene students can earn an associate of science degree in approximately 16 months.

Graduates also are eligible to take the National Board written examination and a State and/or Regional Board Examination for licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

Program Availability

SJVC’s Dental Hygiene program is available at the following campuses:

Career Opportunities

Our Dental Hygiene training prepares graduates to work in private dental offices and enjoy a high salary, flexible hours and a professional work environment. Other career opportunities include working in public health agencies, clinics and nursing home facilities, and clinical teaching.

On the job, registered dental hygienists can expect to:

  • Perform clinical exams
  • Remove stains, plaque and calculus from teeth
  • Expose & process dental x-rays
  • Administer local anesthetics and nitrous oxide sedation
  • Conduct intra and extra oral cancer screenings
  • Counsel patients on oral hygiene

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

Applicants for the Dental Hygiene program must be proficient in several subject areas. Prerequisites include courses in life sciences, reading and composition, speech and oral communication, psychology, sociology and college level math.Prerequisite Courses:

  • General/Inorganic Chemistry (with lab) – CAN 6
  • Organic/Biochemistry (with lab) – CAN 8
  • General Microbiology (with lab) – CAN 14
  • Human Physiology (with lab) – CAN 12
  • Public Speaking or Oral Communication – CAN 4
  • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology – CAN 2
  • Human Anatomy (with lab) – CAN 10
  • Writing and Composition – CAN 2
  • General Psychology – CAN 2
  • Intermediate Algebra or Higher*

*Intermediate Algebra must be equivalent in depth & breadth to SJVC’s Math 121/122.Prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university and students must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Science courses must have been completed within the past seven (7) years.Applicants must also meet the technical standards to be considered for the program. View technical standards.Technical standards provide a reference against which candidates for enrollment to the program are evaluated by the Admissions Committee in the selection of students for the Dental Hygiene program.

Application Process

The Dental Hygiene Program has a highly-selective application process in which only the most qualified applicants are chosen to fill 30 available seats per cohort start. Applicants are ranked based on several criteria, including GPA, work experience, admissions assessments and a personal interview with the admissions team.

Admission is determined based on a point scale of the following categories:

  • Postsecondary education (Attainment, GPA)
  • Healthcare work experience
  • Accuplacer reading comprehension exam, to be administered during the application process
  • Application panel interview

Applicants with the highest number of points will be selected for available seats with five alternates for each student cohort.

Download the application information packet for SJVC’s Dental Hygiene program.

Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions attended must be included with the application. Transcripts of all completed prerequisite courses must be sent to SJVC by the application deadline.

A two-page written personal statement explaining why the applicant wants to become a dental hygienist must also be submitted with the application, along with two letters of recommendations from individuals knowledgeable of and able to evaluate applicant’s potential to complete a course of study in dental hygiene.

Qualified candidates will be considered for invitation to interview with the selection committee.

Foreign Institutions
Applicants who have completed coursework outside of the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF) or equivalent organization. An official copy of the Academic Detailed Report from IERF or an equivalent organization must be included with the application. All applicants must include course descriptions of prerequisite coursework in the application packet.

Program Start Dates

Upcoming start dates for the SJVC Dental Hygiene program:

Campus Ontario San Diego Visalia
Cohort Start Feb. 2 2015 April 6 2015 Sept. 29 2014
Application Deadline Dec. 1 2014 Feb. 6 2015 Sept. 5 2014

 

The Dental Hygiene program is 16 months in length (four 16-week terms), and the classes meet Monday – Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm, and Fridays as needed.

It is recommended that students do not work while enrolled in the Dental Hygiene program. No special concessions are granted for working students.

Clinical Hours
Students in the dental hygiene program experience an increasing number of clinical hours as they progress through the program in order to obtain clinical competence. First year dental hygiene students receive eight hours of pre-clinical training per week during their first term, followed by eight hours of clinical experience during their second term. During the second academic year, terms 3 and 4, students are scheduled for twelve and sixteen hours per week, respectively.

Board Pass Rates

Students in the Dental Hygiene program must take licensure exams in order to be registered to practice as a dental hygienist in California.

Campus Graduate Date National Board Pass Rate % Clinical Board Pass Rate %
Rancho Cucamonga* Jan 07 93 93
Visalia May 07 97 96
Rancho Cucamonga* Sept 07 100 77
Visalia Jan 08 100 93
Rancho Cucamonga* May 08 100 97
Visalia Sept 08 97 93
Rancho Cucamonga* Jan 09 100 97
Visalia May 09 100 81
Rancho Cucamonga* Sept 10 97 93
Visalia Jan 10 100 92
Rancho Cucamonga* May 10 100 93
Visalia Sept 10 93 92
Rancho Cucamonga* Jan 11 96.7 90
Visalia May 11 92.9 96.3
Rancho Cucamonga* Sept 11 96 96
Visalia Jan 12 81.3 100
Rancho Cucamonga* May 12 100 96.3
AVERAGE 98 92

*SJVC’s Rancho Cucamonga campus relocated to Ontario in 2013.

Accreditation and Approvals

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
(312) 440-2500 | http://www.ada.org/en/home-ada/coda

The San Diego San Joaquin Valley College Dental Hygiene Program is scheduled for review by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) on June 10-11, 2014. In accordance with the Commission’s accreditation policies, third-party comments are being solicited at this time. This notice is to inform students, faculty, patients and other interested parties of their right to submit comments to CODA regarding SJVC’s Dental Hygiene program adherence to accreditation standards. CODA is interested in the sustained quality of dental-related education programs, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admissions, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting:

American Dental Association
Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(800) 621-8099, extension 4653

San Joaquin Valley College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at www.accjc.org.

San Joaquin Valley College is a private institution and is approved to operate as an accredited institution in the state of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). BPPE physical address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833; mailing address: P.O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818; phone (916) 431-6959; toll free (888) 370-7589; fax (916) 263-1897; website: www.bppe.ca.gov.