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Dental Hygiene

Associate Degree

A.S. in Dental Hygiene

The Dental Hygiene Program consists of prerequisite courses in addition to dental hygiene courses. Students are required to complete additional general education and graduation requirements to earn an AS degree in Dental Hygiene. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and can be contacted at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Program graduates are eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, the California RDH Examination, and other state and regional licensing examinations.

In addition to normal student expenses (tuition, books, etc.), the Dental Hygiene Program requires an expenditure of over $10,000 during the two-year program for uniforms, instruments, and special supplies. More than $8,000 will be needed at the beginning of the first semester. If this creates a financial burden, students should consult the Financial Aid Office for possible assistance one semester before entering the program.

Recommended Preparation
High school and college preparatory courses including algebra, biology, chemistry, and physiology are recommended.

Graduation Requirements:
Additional courses are necessary to meet Graduation Requirements. These may include American Institutions, Ethnic/Multicultural Studies, Humanities, Living Skills, and Competency Requirements.

Students must consult with a counselor to determine their individual educational plan.

A grade of “C” or better in all Dental Hygiene courses is required for progression in the Dental Hygiene program and for recommendation to apply for the Dental Hygiene licensing examination.

The Associate in Science Degree in Dental Hygiene must be obtained for graduation from the program.

Catalog Date: August 1, 2022

Degree Requirements

Course Code Course Title Units
Enrollment Eligibility Courses:
AH 301 Health Care in a Multicultural Society 31
BIOL 430 Anatomy and Physiology 52
BIOL 431 Anatomy and Physiology 5
BIOL 440 General Microbiology 4
[ CHEM 305 Introduction to Chemistry (5) 5 - 10
and CHEM 306 ] Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (5)
or CHEM 309 Integrated General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (5)
COMM 301 Introduction to Public Speaking (3) 3
   or COMM 331 Group Discussion (3)
   or COMM 481 Introduction to Public Speaking - Honors (3)
ENGWR 300 College Composition (3) 3 - 4
   or ENGWR 488 Honors College Composition and Research (4)
   or ESLW 340 Advanced Composition (4)
MATH 333 Introduction to College Algebra 33
NUTRI 300 Nutrition (3) 3
   or NUTRI 480 Nutrition Honors (3)
PSYC 300 General Principles (3) 3
   or PSYC 480 Honors General Principles (3)
SOC 300 Introductory Sociology (3) 3
   or SOC 480 Introductory Sociology - Honors (3)
First Semester (Fall):
DHYG 101 Introduction to Clinical Dental Hygiene 6
DHYG 103 Oral Histology and Embryology 1
DHYG 104 Patient Education and Nutrition 2
DHYG 107 Dental Morphology 1.5
DHYG 109 Infection Control and Hazardous Materials 0.5
Second Semester (Spring):
DHYG 111 Clinical Dental Hygiene I 4
DHYG 112 Periodontics I 2
DHYG 113 Head and Neck Anatomy 2
DHYG 117 Dental Radiology 3
Summer Session :
DHYG 121 Clinical Dental Hygiene II 2
DHYG 127 Dental Materials 2
DHYG 129 Dental Anesthesia 2
Third Semester (Fall):
DHYG 131 Clinical Dental Hygiene III 4.5
DHYG 132 Periodontics II 1
DHYG 134 Community Dental Health 2
DHYG 135 Clinic Seminar 1.5
DHYG 138 Oral Pathology 2
DHYG 139 Pharmacology 2
Fourth Semester (Spring):
DHYG 141 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV 4.5
DHYG 145 Clinic Seminar II 1
DHYG 149 Ethics, Jurisprudence and Dental Hygiene Practice 2
Total Units: 88.5 - 94.5

1Any course that meets the Ethnic/Multicultural graduation requirement meets this enrollment eligibility criteria.

2BIOL 430 and 431, Anatomy and Physiology; BIOL 440, General Microbiology; CHEM 305 and CHEM 306 or CHEM 309, with 7-year recency from time of enrollment eligibility.

3MATH 333 or higher meets this enrollment eligibility criteria.

The Dental Hygiene Associate in Science (A.S.) degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See SCC graduation requirements.

Enrollment Eligibility

To be eligible for enrollment in the program, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • a high school diploma or the recognized equivalent, which will permit entrance to a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • enrollment in the Dental Hygiene program is based on satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses with grades of “C” or better and submission of an online application and official transcripts to Admission and Records. Enrollment eligibility courses include:
  • BIOL 430 and 431, Anatomy and Physiology; BIOL 440, General Microbiology; CHEM 305 and CHEM 306 or CHEM 309, with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • BIOL 430 and 431, Anatomy and Physiology; BIOL 440, General Microbiology; CHEM 305 and CHEM 306 or CHEM 309, with 7-year recency from time of enrollment eligibility.
  • NUTRI 300 or NUTRI 480, Nutrition; PSYC 300 or PSYC 480, General Principles; SOC 300 or SOC 480, Introductory Sociology; COMM 301, 331 or 481, Introduction to Public Speaking; ENGWR 300, ENGWR 488 or ESLW 340, College Composition, and Ethnic/Multicultural graduation requirement (See SCC Graduation Requirements), with a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • completion of MATH 333 or higher, with a grade of "C" or better.
  • enrollment eligibility courses taken for Credit/No Credit (C/NC) will be calculated into GPAs as a "C" grade.
  • DHYG 100 Introduction to Dental Hygiene is an optional course designed to introduce the practice of dental hygiene.

Enrollment Process

Eligible students are selected for the program according to the following steps:

  • Applications for enrollment are submitted online. One (1) official transcript supporting completion of prerequisite courses outside of the district must be submitted to Sacramento City College Admissions and Records by the posted due date. Enrollment applications and deadlines are available on the SCC website at
  • Completion of the enrollment eligibility requirements places the applicant in the random selection pool. Eligible students who are not selected for program enrollment will be considered alternates. Students that apply consecutive years retain their alternate ranking from their first application year.
  • A background check and drug screening will be required of all students upon enrollment.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • use evidence-based care to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene treatment for a diverse population based on their total needs.
  • incorporate and apply professional, ethical, legal, and regulatory concepts to oral health care services, community projects, and professional activities.
  • integrate and apply health literacy and culturally competent communication skills to oral health care services, academic endeavors, community projects, and professional activities.
  • assess, plan, implement, and evaluate community-based oral health projects.
  • successfully complete written and clinical examinations for dental hygiene licensure and certification.
  • apply critical thinking and self assessment skills to enhance learning, research, patient care, professional growth, and continued competency.

Career Information

This program prepares the student for employment as a dental hygienist. The registered dental hygienist is a licensed, professional, oral health educator, and clinician who works under the direction and supervision of a licensed dentist to provide preventive and therapeutic services for the control of oral diseases. Dental hygienists aid individuals and groups in attaining and maintaining optimum oral and general health through provision of services such as assessment of medical and dental conditions, oral hygiene education, oral prophylaxis - the removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the teeth - and application of preventive agents such as fluoride and sealants. The dental hygienist may be employed in dental offices, schools, health care facilities, public health agencies, industry, and educational institutions.