Build Your Future as a Dental Hygienist
Cypress College’s Dental Hygiene Program provides students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to qualify for licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist. This program also prepares students to take the National Board of Dental Hygiene Examiners written examination, the Western Regional Examining Board clinical examination, and the California Law and Ethics examination for licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Cypress College Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. For further details on the program, view the Dental Hygiene Program Brochure.
Our program goals are to:
- Educate dental hygiene students in the ethical, legal, and competent practice of dental hygiene process of care
- Educate dental hygiene students in the areas of disease prevention and oral health promotion
- Facilitate dental hygiene student’s involvement in community projects
- Promote professional growth, development, and an appreciation for scholarly activity
- Ensure the dental hygiene student provides optimal patient care
After completing this program, most students will be able to:
- Perform the dental hygiene process
- Understand diagnostic digital imaging and skills to interpret dental radiographs using DEXIS
- Prevent blood-borne diseases in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ohio State Dental Board (OSDB).
- Review patient health histories, noting contraindications and other health concerns as needed
- Perform intra/extraoral evaluation, periodontal assessment, treatment assessment, and CAMBRA
- Use gentle instrumentation for optimal removal of plaque, tartar, and bacteria above and below the gum line
- Treat gingivitis and periodontitis with advanced instrumentation skills using Air-Flow, cavitron, piezo, and hand scaling of periodontal patients
- Administer local anesthetic agents and nitrous oxide
- Perform whitening procedures and fabricate whitening trays
- Provide and adequately apply cavity prevention agents such as fluoride and sealants
- Instruct patients in personalized homecare techniques
- Utilize Dentrix software to set up appointments
Dental Hygiene students will participate in the Cypress College Dental Hygiene Clinic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental Hygiene Associate in Science Degree
The degree typically takes two years, after being admitted into the program. This timeline does not include general education and program prerequisites.
The program is $46 per unit for California residents, not including books, fees, and supplies. Units vary by course, but the average is three units per course. The unit cost for the associate degree will vary depending upon the number of prerequisites needed. Most students also qualify for some form of financial aid.
Cypress has the third top rated Dental Hygiene Program in California, with the highest percentage change in earnings (648%) one year before and one year after exiting post-secondary education. In this field, 96% of program graduates found jobs according to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
Graduates find employment in private dental practice and dental specialties practice.
Program Mapper: View course options for these programs.
- Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene= 60 units (2 years*)
*After being admitted into the program and not including general education and program prerequisites.
Minimum Standards to Apply
- Eligible for admission to Cypress College.
- High School graduation, passing of the General Education Development tests (GED), or passing of high school proficiency.
- Minimum of 17 years of age to apply. Must be 18 years of age to start the program.
- A minimum of a 2.5 GPA (or higher) in ALL college work attempted and a 3.0 GPA in the science prerequisites. Official transcripts of all colleges are required.
- Evidence of “good” physical and mental health as determined by medical examination upon admission to the program and prior to program enrollment.
- Students must demonstrate by laboratory testing and medical examination no contagious disease, such as: active Tuberculosis, or Hepatitis carrier with “e” antigen. Attendance in the dental hygiene program’s laboratory and clinical courses would be denied based upon CDC regulations and invasive exposure-prone procedures. Please discuss health concerns with a Health Science counselor before application.
- Four (4) science courses must be completed prior to application and all others must be in progress.
- Three (3) General Education courses must be completed prior to application and others must be in progress.
Find instructions for applying, and a preview of the application, here.
(In compliance with the Dental Hygiene Board of California and the California Board of Dental Examiners all applicants for California Dental Hygiene licensure must (1) successfully complete the Board Examinations, and (2) have no criminal record, or the board must determine that a past criminal record poses no threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. Finger printing is required and checked through the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The applicant must report on the Application for licensure, any convictions or pleas of nolo contendere, even if the conviction was dismissed. Making a false statement on an application, regarding a past conviction, is cause for denial of a license, regardless of the nature of the crime or how long ago it occurred.).
Students will be required to pass a formal background check before placement in affiliated hospitals/clinics.
NOTE: Acceptance is based on a signed written response from the applicant selected, and followed by mandatory attendance at an orientation.
Please consider attending an information workshop about Cypress College Health Science Programs. The Health Science Workshop Schedule and Reservations link is here: http://news.cypresscollege.edu/Documents/health-science/Health-Science-Workshop-Series.pdf
The following courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” and an overall GPA of 2.5. Once a passing grade is achieved and program application requirements are met, courses may not be repeated for a higher grade.
Science Prerequisites: Four (4) of these courses must be completed prior to application. ALL others must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to acceptance in the fall program. All science courses must be completed within five years of filing the first eligible application and with an overall GPA of 3.0.
- CHEM 101 C Chemistry for Health Science Majors I (4 units)
- BIOL 220 C Medical Microbiology (4 units)
- BIOL 231 C General Human Anatomy (4 units)
- BIOL 241 C Human Physiology (4 units)
- HRC 100 C Nutrition (3 units) *meets KIN requirements
General Education Prerequisites: Three (3) of the following related courses must be completed prior to application. The remaining two (2) courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester prior to acceptance in the fall program.
- PSY 101 C Introduction to Psychology (3 units)
- SOC 101 C Introduction to Sociology (3 units)
- COMM 100 C Human Communication (3 units)
- ENGL 100 C College Writing (4 units)
- Cultural Diversity (3 units)
General Education/Graduation Requirements: The following additional courses are required for the associate degree and must be completed prior to the end of the program for an associate degree to be awarded. Please refer to current catalog for specific course options.
- Math 40 C Intermediate Algebra (4 units)
- Physical Education (activity) (1 unit)
- Arts (3 units)
- Humanities (3 units)
- Reading Proficiency