Bachelor Degree Dental Hygiene Program
Why Dental Hygiene? Why West?
West's dental hygiene program has been among the most respected in the country since its inception. The dental Hygiene program was originally started in 1969 at Los Angeles City College. The program then moved to West Los Angeles College in 1978. The first graduating class was in 1971. The dental hygiene program has offered an Associate of Science Degree for over forty-six years.
In 2016, the program started a four-year (two years of GE and two years of DH) full-time Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program. In 2018, twenty-eight students graduated with their first Bachelor's degree from California Community College. Since then, the college has awarded more than one hundred fifty BSDH degrees (As of 2023).
In 2018, a One-year full-time ONLINE Bachelor of Science Completion Program (AS to BS program) was also started for licensed dental hygienists to complete Bachelor's degrees. Since its inception, seventy-three students have been awarded BSDH degrees (As of 2023).
West also offers the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) program since 2007 for those who are interested in serving the community in alternative settings.
West's Dental Hygiene Program is affiliated with UCLA School of Dentistry. The students serve diverse populations in our own dental clinic, Veterans Administration Dental Clinics, Free Clinic of Simi Valley, Southbay Children's Health Center, and South Central Family Health Center.
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 the 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 annually, often with medical benefits, paid vacation, and sick leave.