Dental hygiene




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Dental Hygiene Associates Degree

West's dental hygiene program is among the most respected in the country. 100% of our dental hygiene graduates successfully pass the State licensing exam.  We currently offer a 2-year, full-time Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene.

Dental Hygienists provide primary care to patients to maintain their oral health and prevent oral disease.  Dental Hygienists enjoy excellent job prospects for the foreseeable future, with an average of 1,230 job openings per year expected in California through 2016 (Source EDD/LMID, Occupational Employment Survey 2008).  Dental Hygienists work in general and specialty dental offices that offer many different types of preventative services including radiology, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery.  Other career options include education, sales, administration, and consulting.  Dental Hygienists earn an excellent income, with median, full-time wages reaching almost $80,000 per year often with medical benefits, paid vacation and sick leave.


Dental Hygiene Program Brochure (download .pdf)



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Admissions & Prerequisites



Applicants who may be interested in Dental Hygiene, Pharmacy Technician, and Certified Nursing Assistants are encouraged to attend an Allied Health Programs Orientation offered on one of the dates below.  This orientation is free to anyone interested in any of the Allied Health Programs offered at West Los Angeles College.


Once you have firmly decided to start preparing to apply to the West LA Dental Hygiene program, students must attend one of the Dental Hygiene Program Orientation dates listed below (formerly known as DH 87A): 


The Dental Hygiene Program Orientation provides information about the Dental Hygiene Profession, the West LA Dental Hygiene program, the application process, discussion with faculty and current students, and financial information, etc.  You may attend the Dental Hygiene Program Orientation whether or not you have started completing your prerequisite courses.



Once you are ready to apply to the program, you must attend one of the Application Workshop for Dental Hygiene dates listed below (formerly known at DH 87B) to learn more about the application process and to receive an application.  This seminar must be attended in the academic year in which you plan to apply, to be considered for the Dental Hygiene class starting the upcoming Fall semester.  


These seminars present an overview of the dental hygiene profession, admission requirements, curriculum, and program costs.  All application forms and related information for the dental hygiene program are provided in these seminars.


Dental Hygiene Program Orientation and 

Application Workshop for Dental Hygiene (Combined Classes)

  Dental Hygiene Orientation for Program Starting Fall 2015:


NOVEMBER 14, 2014: Information Session & Application Workshop | MSA 005 | 9:30am - 1:00pm

JANUARY 16, 2015: Information Session & Application Workshop | MSA 005 | 10:00am - 2:00pm


Sign Up for the Orientation by Clicking the Link Here!!




  • You must attend both the Dental Hygiene Program Orientation and the Application Workshop for Dental Hygiene.
  • If you have attended a Dental Hygiene Program Orientation within the last 3 years, you need only attend the Application Workshop for Dental Hygiene during the academic year in which you plan to apply.
  • The following rubric will be used for the evaluation of the essay you will be writing at the application workshop. The topic will be given on the day of the workshop. You will be assigned one hour to write the essay. Please click on the link: Workshop Essay Rubrics



Prerequisites for the Dental Hygiene Program:

  • Psychology 1 (3 units)
  • Sociology 1 (3 units)
  • English 101 (3 units)
  • Speech 1 (Public Speaking - 3 units)
  • Chemistry 51 or 60 (4 or 5 units with lab)
  • Anatomy 1 (4 units with lab)
  • Physiology 1 (4 units with lab)
  • Microbiology 20 (4 units with lab)
  • 'Plan B' General Education requirements for an A.S. degree as listed in the Class Schedule (except the health requirement) may be in-progress during application, but must be completed prior to starting the Dental Hygiene program in the Fall

All prerequisites must be completed before acceptance into the program. Students completing prerequisites during Spring semester are eligible to apply for and begin the program starting in Fall of that year.


Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology must have been completed within the last 5 years.


Prerequisite courses completed at other U.S. colleges or universities with different course names and course numbers may meet prerequisite requirements.  Foreign students should call International Student Services at 310-287-4312 to have their transcript evaluated.


Successful applicants will have good manual dexterity and an interest in science.


Applications are due March 15th of each year.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.  Students are notified of acceptance starting in June.


After acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program, each student must:

  1. Undergo a physical examination, complete eye examination and update necessary immunizations annually.
  2. Undergo drug testing and a criminal background check.
  3. Show evidence of health insurance.
  4. Purchase required instruments, supplies and uniforms.


For Information,  Please Call: (310) 287-4464



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Required Courses

The Dental Hygiene Associates Degree program is accredited by The Commission on Dental Accreditation. Students must take the two-year, full-time series of courses listed below in sequence to meet the program guidelines of the State of California Dental Practice Act.


Download Dental Hygiene Program Flowchart (.pdf)



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  • DH 100 Principles of Clinical Dental Hygiene (2 units)
  • DH 101 Clinical Dental Hygiene (2 units)
  • DH 102 Radiology I - Introduction to Radiology (1 unit)
  • DH 103 Radiology I - Laboratory (1 unit)
  • DH 104 Dental Morphology (2 units)
  • DH 105 General Pathology (2 units)
  • DH 106 Anatomy of the Head and Neck (2 units)
  • DH 109 Infection Control in Dentistry (1 unit)
  • DH 150 Preventive Dentistry (2 units)


  • DH 97 Special Project (1 unit)



FALL SEMESTER (15 units)

  • DH 155 Dental Materials (2 units)
  • DH 200 Cariology and Occlusion (1 unit)
  • DH 201 Clinical Dental Hygiene III (4 units)
  • DH 203 Expanded Functions Laboratory (1 unit)
  • DH 204 Dental Health Education (1 unit)
  • DH 205 Dental Health Education-Practicum (1 unit)
  • DH 206 Periodontics (1 unit)
  • DH 208 Pharmacology (3 units)
  • DH 88 Dental Hygiene Developmental Clinic (1 unit)


  • DH 97 Special Project (1 unit)


  • DH 88 Dental Hygiene Developmental Clinic (1 unit)
  • DH 108 Introduction to Periodontics (2 units)
  • DH 151 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (3 units)
  • DH 152 Special Patient Care (1 unit)
  • DH 153 Radiology II- Interpretation (1 unit)
  • DH 154 Oral Pathology (2 units)
  • DH 156 Histology & Embryology of Oral Tissues (2 units)
  • DH 207 Pain Control (1 unit)
  • DH 209 Pain Control Lab (1 unit)
  • DH 256 Biochemical Nutrition (3 units)


  • DH 97 Special Project (1 unit)


  • DH 210 Emergencies in Dental Practice (1 unit)
  • DH 250 Advanced Periodontal Seminar (1 unit)
  • DH 251 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV (6 units)
  • DH 252 Essentials of Dental Hygiene (2 units)
  • DH 253 Community Dental Health (1 unit)
  • DH 254 Community Dental Health-Practicum (1 unit)
  • DH 88 Dental Hygiene Developmental Clinic (1 unit)
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Licensing Exam

Completion of the Dental Hygiene program qualifies students to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the California Dental Hygiene Clinical Examination for licensure.  The California State Licensing Board requires the submission of official fingerprinting; a license may be denied if a person has been convicted of a felony.

For more information about licensing requirements contact the Dental Hygiene Committee of California at DHCC, 2005 Evergreen Street Suite 1050, Sacramento, CA 95815, or online at Professors are also available to guide students through the licensing process.

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Affiliated Institutions

West LA College's Dental Hygiene program is affiliated with other prestigious institutions in Los Angeles.  These connections offer our students excellent learning and networking opportunities.  Dental Clinic facilities are in the UCLA Health Science Center, the VA Greater LA Healthcare System, Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, The Kids Community Dental Clinic, Simi Valley Free Clinic and MEND.

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In addition to West Los Angeles College tuition, students will need to purchase a professional instrument kit.  The additional cost for the kit, textbooks, professional dues, malpractice insurance, uniforms and other supplies for the dental hygiene program is approximately $10,000 for the first year and $5,000 for the second year.  Payment for additional items is due on August 15th before the start of classes each year. Please note, refund for equipment and instruments will not be issued after two weeks of the program start date. 

Financial Aid is available for qualifying students and may be used to offset these additional costs. 98% of our students receive State, Federal, or private financial aid, or participate in the Board of Governors' Fee Waiver Program.  Contact the West Los Angeles College Office of Financial Aid via email at or by telephone at (310) 287-4532 for more information.

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Student Selection & Notification

Each year, 25 students are selected from a large number of qualified applicants based on the selection criteria listed below.  These criteria have been approved by the West Los Angeles College Academic Senate and are consistent with State regulations:

  • GPA - Science prerequisite courses (Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology)
  • GPA - Non-Science Prerequisites courses (English, Psychology, Speech, Sociology) 
  • GPA - Overall
  • In-class Essay Performance during the Application Workshop

Additional Considerations are given to applicants who demonstrate the following:

  • Previous work experience in the dental field
  • Dental Assistant Licenses or Certifications
  • Completion of AS/AA Degree and BA/BS degree
  • Currently-enrolled WLAC students
  • Completion of Biochemistry, Nutrition (Family and Consumer Studies 21), Medical Terminology (Allied Health 33), or Organic Chemistry (Chemistry 211)
  • Completion of all General Education requirements (PLAN B) for AS degree.

Accepted students will be required to request a background criminal record screening before the orientation in July.  A physical examination, immunizations and a drug testing must be completed by August 15th before the start of the program. Student health services can provide these tests at reduced student rates.

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