Dental Hygiene Students
Dental Hygiene

Mission and Goals

Mission Statement

The Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program inspires graduates to develop a deep sense of commitment and responsibility towards the overall health and well-being of the patients entrusted to their care, the health and wellness of their communities and the advancement of the dental hygiene profession. The program strives to prepare graduates to deliver the highest standard of care based on the most current scientific evidence and to embody the values of equity and collaboration to enrich the oral health of the individuals and communities that they serve.

Program Goals

  • Foster a student-centered learning environment that supports active learning, collaboration, critical thinking, and ethical decision making and problem-solving abilities.

  • Support diverse student learning styles and encourage creative and independent thinking.

  • Support students in the application of classroom knowledge into laboratory, clinical and community contexts.

  • Promote the ability to assess, plan, implement, document, and evaluate professional dental hygiene services in clinical and community settings.

  • Develop oral health care professionals who are life-long learners with the ability to self-assess their skills and to be able to assume the responsibility for continued competency and professional growth to meet the evolving challenges of oral health care.

Program Objectives

The Cabrillo College dental hygiene graduate should be able to:

  • Apply oral health promotion and disease prevention strategies for diverse populations across the lifespan.

  • Contribute to reducing oral health disparities for underserved populations through actively engaging in community service and advocating for increased access to dental and dental hygiene services.

  • Analyze the scientific literature critically and integrate the latest research into clinical practice to ensure the delivery of evidence-based care.

  • Evaluate the efficacy of dental hygiene treatment or education provided and make modifications as needed.

  • Empower patients to actively manage their oral health through effective and empathetic communication that confirms their understanding and utilizes shared decision-making that is patient/person centered.

  • Manage the ethical challenges of dental hygiene practice in oral health care settings.

  • Seek professional development and learning opportunities to maintain currency of knowledge and skills.

  • Participate in the advancement of the dental hygiene profession through engagement with dental hygiene professional associations, advocacy for oral health initiatives and the pursuit of advanced education to be able to assume future roles in teaching, research, and leadership in oral health care.

DH Program Description

The Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program began in 1967 and graduated the first class in 1969. It is affiliated with the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni Dentistry, San Francisco. Upon completion of the two-year program, students are eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam, and to take either the California State Board Exam or the Western Regional licensure exam.

Enrollment is limited to 22 students each fall. Program retention is based on a minimum grade of “C” in all courses in the published dental hygiene curriculum. Courses must be taken sequentially.

A dental hygienist is a person who is trained and licensed to take dental x-rays, to provide dental hygiene therapy, usually under the supervision of a dentist. The dental hygiene profession demands a high level of ethics, attitude, confidentiality and performance.
(Source: Cabrillo College Catalog)

DH Program Duration

  • 2 years (24 months)

Schedule of Classes

  • Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm

DH Program Accreditation

The Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), established in 1975, as nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Its purpose is to serve the public by establishing, maintaining and applying standards that ensure the quality and continuous improvement of dental and dental-related education and reflect the evolving practice of dentistry and to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level.

The program operates in compliance with Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Standards and violations of Standards may be reported to: Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL, 60611.

This program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Completion of the DH Program leads to eligibility to take a dental hygiene licensing examination. The license is issued under the authority of the State of California, Dental Hygiene Board of California; Department of Consumer Affairs.

Dental Hygienists Duties

Dental hygienists are licensed oral health professionals who provide preventive and therapeutic oral health care services. Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. Hygienists examine patients’ teeth and gums, recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities. In some states, hygienists are allowed to administer anesthetics via local anesthetics using syringes. Dental hygienists can work in a variety of settings such as: dental offices of general dentists and dental specialists, public health agencies, hospitals, and community dental clinics, educational and administrative positions, dental hygiene educational programs, elementary schools and community organizations and research organizations or marketing companies of dental-related products.

Job Outlook

Dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing occupations, and job prospects are expected to remain excellent. Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow 33% through 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. This projected growth ranks dental hygienists among the fastest growing occupations, in response to increasing demand for dental care and the greater use of hygienists.


Dental Hygiene Oath

In my practice as a dental hygienist;

I affirm my personal and professional commitment

To improve the oral health of the public,

To advance the art and science of dental hygiene,

and to promote high standards of quality care.

I pledge continually to improve my professional knowledge and skills,

To render a full measure of service to each patient entrusted to my care,

To uphold the highest standards of professional competence and personal conduct,

In the interests of the dental hygiene profession and the public it serves

(Adopted in 1948 by the American Dental Hygienists' Association)

Cabrillo College Core Competencies

To achieve our mission, the Cabrillo College community works together to help students master our four college competencies. The Core Four represent the major skills that all students need to succeed. The college is committed to fulfilling this promise: when our students have met the requirements for the A.A. or A.S. degree or have completed the general education sequence, they will be competent in:

  • Communication: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and/or Conversing

  • Critical Thinking and Information Competency: Analysis, Computation, Research, Problem-Solving

  • Global Awareness: An Appreciation of Scientific Complexities, Social Diversity and Civics, and Artistic Variety

  • Personal Responsibility and Professional Development: Self-Management and Self-Awareness, Social and Physical Wellness, Workplace Skills

Cabrillo College Accreditation

Cabrillo College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the recognized local agency which is affiliated with the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commission of Higher Education. The College adheres to the institutional standards set forth by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and has been approved by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the California State Department of Education. The college is a member of the Community College League of California.

(Source: Cabrillo College Accreditation)