About Dental Hygiene

  • A registered Dental Hygienist is a health professional licensed in dental hygiene to provide preventive, educational, and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. At the successful completion of the Dental Hygiene Program, graduates are prepared to apply their knowledge of scientific concepts to assess patient needs, recognize problems, establish oral health goals, provide the appropriate dental health-care services, and evaluate results.


  • Through a rigorous and challenging program, students can graduate from the Dental Hygiene Program having earned an associate in science degree and will be well prepared to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the California Dental Hygiene Board Examination and/or Central Regional or Western Regional Dental Hygiene Examination. 
Since the inception of the Dental Hygiene program in 1999, 99% of our dental hygiene students have successfully passed the National Board exam on their first attempt. The Commission on Dental Accreditation awarded the program accreditation “without reporting” status in 2016.
  • After prerequisites have been completed the Dental Hygiene Program is competed in five semesters including one summer session. Dental Hygiene courses must be taken in sequence. SRJC's Dental Programs faculty will provide guidance, information, evaluation, and role modeling that fosters the development of students from novice to competent and skilled dental health care professionals.
  • Please click on the Dental Hygiene Course Sequence to view the required dental hygiene program classes.


Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association requires all 2-year colleges to award an associate degree to students upon completion of the program. SRJC dental hygiene students are required to complete all the requirements for the SRJC associate degree in dental hygiene, including prerequisites and general education.

  • The Dental Hygiene curriculum creates an environment in which students are stimulated to learn. Dental hygiene students develop critical thinking, ethical; evidence based decision-making and problem-solving skills. Graduates of the program will enjoy professional growth and development in the profession through active participation and affiliation within the industry. 
  • The Dental Hygiene Program offers a stimulating, science-based, and challenging learning experience that prepares students to become licensed dental health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services that encourage optimal oral health standards in patients. Students learn to acquire and synthesize information in a critical, scientific, and effective manner. They will achieve professional and personal growth through the application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory and community settings and through self-directed planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional services. Once qualified through the Dental Hygiene Program, students will promote and maintain individuals' oral wellness in collaboration with dental and other health-care professionals. 
  • Students graduating from this program are prepared to assume responsibility for their continued professional growth and scientific innovations in the delivery of dental hygiene care. After preparation at SRJC, graduates apply their knowledge to assess needs, recognize problems, establish oral health goals, and provide appropriate services, and evaluate outcomes about their patients. 



  • To provide a student-centered learning environment in which students are stimulated to learn, to grow personally, to develop decision making, ethical, and problem solving skills, and to stimulate creative and independent thinking.
  • To prepare students who will achieve professional and personal growth through application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory and community settings with the provision of self-directed planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional services.
  • To prepare students who will be prepared to assume responsibility for continued professional growth, high professional standards, and to meet the emerging challenges of dental health care.
  • To prepare students to pass the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and Regional clinical licensure examinations.



Student Learning Outcomes

     Prior to entering the profession of dental hygiene, a graduate of the Santa Rosa Junior College Dental Hygiene Program will have attained the following competencies.

1. Discern and manage the ethical issues of dental hygiene practice in a rapidly changing health environment.

2. Advance the profession through active participation and affiliation with professional and community service, and display lifelong professional growth and development.

3. Initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations.

4. Formulate comprehensive dental hygiene care plans that are patient centered and based on current scientific evidence.

5. Provide treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic procedures to promote and maintain oral health and assist the patient in achieving oral health goals.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of patient treatment, patient education, planned clinical and community educational services and make necessary modifications.


Career Opportunities:

The SRJC dental Hygiene Program is a 2018 CA State Community College Chancellor’s office gold Star Award winner

  • This award is given to career and technical education courses who show outstanding post-college outcomes in: Employment, Earnings Gain and Regional Living Wage.
  • SRJC Dental Hygiene Graduates achieve: 100% employment in their field, have an 176% increase in earnings, and 90% attain the regional living wage
  • Employment opportunities are available in private and specialty dental offices, health clinics, school systems, research facilities, public health departments, education programs, and marketing and sales of dental products. Salaries for Dental Hygienists range from $35 to  $55 per hour. 
  • The Dental Hygienist is a licensed professional oral health educator with specialized clinical and educational skills. The Dental Hygienist works as a co-therapist with the dentist in the prevention, recognition and treatment of dental and oral disease. The practicing dental hygienist may be exposed to environmental hazards and infectious diseases, including, but not limited to: Tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV (AIDS). Dental hygienists are obligated to provide patient care with compassion and respect for human dignity, respecting the rights of privacy and confidentiality of patients with infectious disease


Policy for individuals Who Have Bloodborne infectious Disease(s)

Santa Rosa Junior College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in any of its policies, procedures or practices as noted previously and that includes individuals who have bloodborne infectious disease(s). The Human immunodeficiency Virus- seropositive student, patient, faculty or staff member has rights as a legally handicapped individual. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 grants specific benefits including the right to access to health care, education, housing, etc. Patients infected with bloodborne pathogens can be safely treated in dental settings. Current evidence indicates that there is no significant risk of contracting bloodborne diseases through the provision of dental treatment when precautions are followed. The practice of standard precautions is an effective means of reducing blood contacts that can result in bloodborne pathogen transmission.

A faculty member or student involved in providing patient care who may pose a risk of transmitting bloodborne infectious agents should consult with appropriate health care professionals to determine whether continuing to provide patient care represents any material risk to the patient, and if so should not engage in any professional activity that would create a risk of transmission of the disease to others as recommended by the American Association of Dental Schools (AADS). Until Federal legislation addressing HIV-I testing of health care workers and a decision about disclosure of the healthcare worker's HIV-I status to the patient is enacted we will fallow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Recommendations regarding the practice of healthcare workers infected with HIV or Hepatitis B (HBV) as well as American Dental Association's interim policy to request that HIV infected students or faculty refrain from performing invasive (prone) procedures to disclose their seropositive status to patients (gain informed consent) until the uncertainty about transmission is resolved.


Accreditation and Licensure:

CODA Approval letter for SRJC Dental Hygiene Program

The Dental Hygiene associate degree program at Santa Rosa Junior College is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation, and is granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The program has received full accreditation status during each cycle of accreditation. The commission is a specialized accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission of Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. 

In accordance with state law, the Dental Hygiene Board of California (DHBC) may deny licensure for crimes substantially related to the practice of dental hygiene. This includes convictions involving sex crimes, drug crimes (including DUI), and crimes of violence. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present sufficient evidence of rehabilitation to the DHBC prior to licensure application. Questions that students may have related to possible denial for licensure should be referred to: Dental Hygiene Committee of California, 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1050, Sacramento, CA 95815.


Frequently Asked Questions (Currently being revised - please check back soon)