The Dental Hygiene program prepares students to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services supporting oral health. Studies include the biological basis of the health of the teeth and oral cavity, as well as procedures used to prevent decay and to maintain dental health. Employment opportunities include working as a licensed dental hygienist in dental offices, public clinics, schools, dental industry, research and community health. The curriculum also prepares graduates for an opportunity to transfer to a Bachelor in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program in approved state and private institutions for one additional year.
Participation in all off campus assigned sites are required for program completion. Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus sites. Some off-campus sites require homeland security screening and verification of legal status.
The two year program follows a cohort model, with students accepted each fall semester.
The Dental Hygiene program at PCC is approved by the Dental Hygiene Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1350
Sacramento, CA 95815
The Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. It has been granted the accreditation status of “Approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required courses with a grade of C (75% of the coursework) or better.
Additional Courses Required for the Associate in Science Degree
Students may select an appropriate General Education pattern to meet the AS degree General Education requirements. Different GE Patterns may result in double counting of some units. Consult with a Counselor to determine which classes qualify to receive credit in the general education categories.
Upon successful completion of the Dental Hygiene program and general education requirements, students receive a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate Degree from PCC. This makes them eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board examination, any applicable regional or state board examination(s) to obtain licensure as a Dental Hygienist.
Applicants for Dental Hygiene licensure are required to submit official fingerprints. The law provides for denial of license for crimes or acts which are related to dental hygiene qualifications and/or duties.
Fingerprints are mandatory to take the Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) examination. A social security number or a TIN is required to take the RDH exam.
Student Selection and Fees:
- Graduation from High School or the equivalent
- Overall GPA of 3.0 for all prerequisite college work.
- Completed application for selection and acceptance into the program.
- Dental Hygiene students must have the ability to communicate effectively.
- After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing physical and emotional health, including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.
- Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card approved by American Heart Association for Healthcare Providers, that must be maintained while in the program.
- Enrollment is determined by the applicant pool and the selection process is by lottery while adhering to all Federal and State Laws.
Prerequisite Courses: Minimum grade of C in:
|ENGL 001A/001AH||READING AND COMPOSITION||4|
|PSYC 001/001H||INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY||3|
|SPCH 001/001H||FUNDAMENTALS OF SPEECH||3|
|or SPCH 010||INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION|
|SOC 001/001H||INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY||3|
|Intermediate Algebra (Students who have completed Intermediate Algebra may use Intermediate Algebra in lieu of STAT 050/050H or MATH 003)|
|STAT 050||ELEMENTARY STATISTICS||4|
|or STAT 050H||HONORS ELEMENTARY STATISTICS|
|or MATH 003||COLLEGE ALGEBRA FOR STEM|
|Humanities U.S. History (one course) and Political Science|
|Physical Activity (2 units)|
Prerequisite Courses: Minimum grade of B in these science courses (It is recommended that they be taken within the last five years):
|NUTR 011||HUMAN NUTRITION||3|
|ANAT 025||HUMAN ANATOMY||4|
|PYSO 001||HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY||4|
& CHEM 002B
|CHEMISTRY - GENERAL, ORGANIC AND BIOCHEMISTRY I|
and CHEMISTRY-GENERAL, ORGANIC AND BIOCHEMISTRY II
1. Uniforms that abide by the Dental Hygiene Program's dress code: approx. $500
2. Equipment and supplies, textbooks: approximately $7200
3. Fees for California Dental Hygienists Association ($50 for 2 years) memberships: $100
4. Malpractice Insurance $60
5. A current CPR/Basic Life Support card for Health Professionals provided by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross must be maintained while in the program: contact organization for cost of training. Approximately $75
6. Tuition $46/units for CA residents ($304/unit non-resident)
7. Health Fee $21/semester
8. Parking $64/semester
9. Health clearance (one-time fee) $35
10. Other fees (ASB, Student Activities) $12/semester
1. A candidate for the Dental Hygiene Program must have the ability to communicate safely, accurately, and effectively in both written and spoken English. To enhance success, students who have English as a second language are encouraged to enroll in Speech 003, 121 and/or 125, and HLSC 115 Medical Terminology.
2. Grade of C or better is required in all prerequisite courses. All applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in the prerequisite courses in order to be considered for acceptance into the dental hygiene program.
3. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying. Work in progress is not accepted. Some prerequisite courses including upper-division courses completed at another institution may require a "Pre-requisite Equivalency Petition." If you have taken courses and you are unsure if they are transferable or equivalent to prerequisite requirements it is your responsibility to determine course equivalency prior to applying to the program.
4. Enrollment is determined by the applicant pool and the selection process is by lottery. Additionally, acceptance into the program may also be based on the outcome of a criminal background check.
5. Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card, which must be maintained while in the program. CPR training can be obtained from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, Health Care Provider course.
6. Memberships to State (CDHA) and National (ADHA) Dental Hygiene Organizations at a student level must be maintained throughout the program.
7. Once accepted into the program, students must purchase and maintain a malpractice insurance.
8. The PCC Dental Hygiene program does not accept transfer students from other Dental Hygiene programs.
9. After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing good health including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.
- Acquire the theoretical knowledge that will allow students to provide comprehensive dental health care to their clients/patients.
- Apply the dental hygiene process of care to provide competent dental hygiene care as specified by the Dental Practice Act.
Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement
|ANAT 115||HEAD AND NECK ANATOMY, HISTOLOGY AND EMBRYOLOGY||3|
|DH 101A||FUNDAMENTALS OF DENTAL HYGIENE||5|
|DH 101B||FUNDAMENTALS OF DENTAL HYGIENE THEORY AND PRACTICE||5|
|DH 104A||CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE THEORY AND PRACTICE: PAIN CONTROL||2|
|DH 104B||CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE THEORY AND PRACTICE||7|
|DH 104C||ADVANCED CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE THEORY AND PRACTICE||7|
|DH 107||INTRODUCTION TO ORAL HEALTH RESEARCH||2|
|DH 109||DENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION, COMMUNICATION AND DIVERSITY||2|
|DH 111||CURRENT ISSUES IN DENTAL HYGIENE||2|
|DH 113B||ADVANCED PERIODONTICS||1|
|DH 116||DENTAL MATERIALS||2.5|
|DH 117||DENTAL MORPHOLOGY AND OCCLUSION||2|
|DH 119A||COMMUNITY DENTAL HEALTH||2|
|DH 121||CLINICAL PRACTICE IN ALTERNATIVE SETTINGS||1|
|DH 121||CLINICAL PRACTICE IN ALTERNATIVE SETTINGS||1|
|DH 122||MEDICAL EVALUATION OF DENTAL HYGIENE PATIENTS||2|
|DH 141||ORAL RADIOLOGY||3|
|DH 200A||DIRECTED STUDIES IN CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE||1|
|DH 200B||ADVANCED TECHNIQUES IN CLINICAL DENTAL HYGIENE||1|
|DH 201||DENTAL HYGIENE SKILLS ENHANCEMENT LAB||1|
|DH 120||INDEPENDENT STUDY||1|
|DH 200C||CLINICAL BOARD PREPARATION||1|
General Education Requirements for the Associate in Science Degree
Visit the Program Mapper for a suggested sequence of courses.