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Students working on Teeth

Health Science Division CLOSED rest of the Spring Semester

We are still working remotely!


Dental Hygiene



Thank you for your interest in our Program​s. 

During the current National Emergency related to COVID-19, our on-campus activities remain minimal, however, we continue to accept application for our Dental Assisting, RDH in Alternative Practice, and Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Programs starting classes in the Fall Semester 2020 (AUG 31-DEC 20). We are also hosting information sessions that will be offered via Zoom Conference.

Please contact us with any question or inquiries: (310) 287-4464 or

Why Dental Hygiene? Why West?

West's dental hygiene program is among the most respected in the country since its inception.  Dental Hygiene program was originally started in 1969 at Los Angeles City College. Then the program moved to West Los Angeles College in 1978. The first graduating class was 1971. Over fourty six years, the dental hygiene program offered Associate of Science Degree.

Since 2017, the program  started a four year (two year of GE and two year of DH) of full time Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program.  In 2018, twenty eight students graduated with the first Bachelor degree from the California Community College.

In 2018, One year full time ONLINE Bachelor of Science Completion Program (AS to BS program) also started for the licenced dental hygienists to complete Bachelor Degree. 

West also offers the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) program since 2007 for those who are intersted in serving the community in alternative settings.

West's Dental Hygiene Program affiliates with UCLA School of Dentistry.  The students serves diverse populations in our own dental clinic, Veterans Dental Clinics, MEND clinic, and Southbay Children's clinic.

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 a 20 percent job growth for next ten years.  (source: Labor Statistics) 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.

Degree Picture Type of Degree Offered

Degree Cap

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree

Students enrolling in the Dental Hygiene Program at West Los Angeles College, graduate with a Bachelor Degree

Dental Hygienist in clinic

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion

For Licensed Registered Dental Hygienists who have already obtained an Associate of Science Degree

*Enroll for the Summer Session 2020*

Dental Hygienist in clinic

Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP)

For Licensed Registered Dental Hygienist in California - Additional License that allows the stablishment of independent dental hygiene practice / business

Dental Assistant in clinic

Dental Assistant

For those seeking to become Registered Dental Assistant, or to obtain an Associates Degree or Skills Certificate

Other Information

Oral health and homelessness are the greatest barriers to school attendance.

Dental health issues remain a barrier to attendance, as evidenced by a 2010 Los Angeles School Attendance Review Board (SARB), which lists dental health along with homelessness in the top barriers to attendance.


Oral disease is the most comm​on illness for children.

Almost 60% of kids ages 5 to 17 have cavities - making tooth decay five times more common than asthma among children of this age.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS]. Oral Health in America. A Report of the Surgeon General; 2000, p. 63.


Children need oral health ​care the most.

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting nearly 6 in 10 children in the United Sates. In California, the need for oral health is the most prevalent unmet health care need among children and adolescents.

The Critical Connection between Student Health and Academic Achievement: How Schools And Policymakers Can Achieve A Positive Impact, page 3


As the need for oral health grows, numbers in the profession are dropping.

The job market for dental hygienists is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation will grow 20 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the average growth rate for most professions.

There are more dentists retiring each year than there are dental school graduates to replace them.

Beazoglou T et al. “Selling Your Practice at Retirement.” Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol. 131, No. 12, 1693-1698; 2000. See also Gehshan S et al. Help Wanted: A Policy Maker’s Guide to New Dental Providers; May 2009.