Dental Hygiene

Mission and Goals

Mission Statement
It is the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program’s philosophy to produce a clinically competent, ethical, and knowledgeable dental hygienist. This person is capable of combining the knowledge from didactic sources in the sciences, social sciences and clinical sciences with the skill and techniques gained from clinical dental hygiene practice and of applying this knowledge for the betterment of each individual patient, as well as the community.
(Source: Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program 4/11/2007)

Program Objectives
The objectives of the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program are to prepare the student to:

● Assess and provide comprehensive dental hygiene services as part of a total care program for a wide scope of patients utilizing evidence-based practice

● Demonstrate the highest degree of professional ethics, legal concepts, and competence in the application of self-assessment skills

● Demonstrate competence in educating the public on dental health promotion and disease prevention both at chair side and at the community level.
(Source: Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program 4/11/2007, 9/2/11, 1/16/12)

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

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, the dental hygiene graduate will be able to:

  • Apply ethical, professional, and legal concepts to the provision and/or the support of oral health care services to all persons following the dental hygiene process of care

  • Promote dental health and disease prevention both at chairside and at the community level

(Source: Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program 4/11/2007, 5.28.12, updated 5/10/13)

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. https://coda.ada.org/

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.
(Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm)

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)