20 Best Dental Hygienist Schools in California

This article contains information about the best dental hygienist schools in California, including top universities and colleges that offer the best programs in this field.

Have you been searching for the best dental hygienist schools in California? Do you wish to build a career in dental health by attending the best colleges or universities in the state of California, then read this article to be enlightened.

Regarding the best dental hygienist schools in California, extensive research have being made to give you comprehensive and exquisite information. If your aspirations are mainly focused on becoming a dental hygienist in California, you should know your chances of getting a good-paying job.

Arguably, California has some of the best educational institutions not just in the United States but in the world entirely. Some of the prestigious colleges and universities are located in the state, and they offer the best education in any profession of your choice. 

Currently, there is a high demand for health professionals in the healthcare system. Graduates who obtained a degree in medicine are more likely to secure lucrative jobs in the healthcare system than other graduates in their area of specialization. 

Dental hygienists are essential health professionals that provide preventive oral care in the healthcare system. They educate patients on the best practices in oral health, treat and diagnose patients with oral diseases, and provide therapeutic services. Now, let us take a scope at dental hygiene as a profession.

A dental hygienist at work

Who Is A Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists are licensed and registered oral health professionals with expertise in dental health. These trained health professionals offer preventive oral care to patients, educating them on the best dental hygiene practices. 

Dental hygienists are graduates with degrees in dental hygiene from an accredited institution. A dental hygienist can also function as a researcher, educator, or administrator.

What Is The Job of A Dental Hygienist?

The job of a dental hygienist is not just to examine or clean a patient’s teeth. Dental hygienists provide preventive care to patients and it includes therapeutic services, pain management, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases.

As licensed health professionals and dental hygienists also work with dentists, and during dental surgery, they administer anaesthetics and apply periodontal dressings.

However, there are specific regulations in every state regarding the medical services a dental hygienist can provide.

Why Become a Dental Hygienist in California 

The Golden State provides several opportunities for health professionals, and dental hygienists are not left out. According to the predictions of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth prospects in employment for dental hygienists will rise by 15% in a few years to 2028. 

Therefore, you can expect more than 1,370 jobs for dental hygienists in years to come.

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License Requirements for Dental Hygienists in California

Attending the best dental hygienist schools in California does not automatically get you a license. To obtain a license and operate in California as a dental hygienist, there are requirements to fulfil.

California has the strictest license requirements for dental hygienists in the United States. To obtain a license and become a registered dental hygienist in California, you must;

Central Regional Testing Services (CRTS) and the Western Regional Examination Board (WREB) provide accepted clinical examinations.

Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice RDHAP

Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice refers to licensed registered dental hygienists who have a specific license that enables them to practice outside the traditional dental office. 

You can become a Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice in California.

The state requirements for the RDHAP title are,

  • You must be a licensed registered dental hygienist
  • You must hold a Bachelor’s degree and complete an RDHAP program 

Salaries of Dental Hygienists in California

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of dental hygienists in California is $109,520 or $52.65 per hour in 2020. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area accounts for a third of dental hygienist jobs in California. The average salary of dental hygienists In Los Angeles is $110,250 and it is above the state average. 

Here is a scope on dental hygienist salaries in California by area.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA260$43.28$90,020
Chico, CA250$45.52$94,680
Fresno, CA220$42.63$88,670
Hanford-Corcoran, CA**$39.74$82,660
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA6,980$45.16$93,940
Madera, CA40$35.44$73,710
Modesto, CA390$40.19$83,590
Napa, CA150$47.66$99,140
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA590$49.36$102,660
Redding, CA90$43.57$90,620
https://dentalassistantedu.org/dh/ca/

20 Dental Hygienist Schools in California

Here are the best dental hygienist schools in California including colleges and universities, and the programs offered by each institution.

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1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles

  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • SAT Range: 1340-1530
  • ACT Range: 30-34
  • Average Tuition: $60,275
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
  • School Address: UNIVERSITY PARK LOS ANGELES, CA 90089

The University of Southern California is among the best dental hygienist universities in California. A private institution located in Los Angeles, California, and established in 1880. 

As one of the best dental hygienist universities in California, the University of Southern California is one of the dental schools in the U.S to offer both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in dental hygiene. The university’s School of Dentistry provides top-quality education to students on dental hygiene. 

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene 

To obtain a degree in this program, you must complete 76 credits in dental hygiene courses and 12 in general education. The coursework is completed in 5 trimesters and it includes clinical training to expatiate your knowledge in dental health. 

This program gives you the best experiences needed to nurture a career in dental health.

Master’s of Science in Dental Hygiene

This program is for dental hygienists who want to further their education on dental hygiene. The program is a full-time study that can be completed in 16 months. However, there is a part-time schedule for individuals with other responsibilities. 

If you are interested in dental hygiene programs offered at the University of Southern California, you can visit their official website via the link below.

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2. University of the Pacific, San Francisco

  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Average Tuition: $52,352
  • SAT Range: 1080-1340
  • ACT Range: 22-30
  • Application Fee: $55
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1 
  • School Address: 3601 PACIFIC AVE STOCKTON, CA 95211

University of the Pacific (San Francisco Campus) is one of the dental hygienist universities in California.

The dental hygiene program offered at the University of the Pacific (San Francisco campus) is a 3-year bachelor’s degree program. In this program, you will be provided with vast coursework that includes components of liberal arts in the first part of the program. The second part includes coursework on dental hygiene. 

Additionally, this program also requires a minimum high school GPA of 2.7 due to the university’s selectivity. 

If you are interested to know more about dental hygiene programs at the University of the Pacific, you can visit their official website via the link below.

3. West Coast University, Anaheim 

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Average Tuition: $24,211 
  • No Application 
  • School Address: 1477 S MANCHESTER AVE ANAHEIM, CA 92802

The West Coast University is one of the small-sized dental hygienist universities in California. The University is located in Orange County, Anaheim, California with an enrollment of 2,510 undergraduates.

West Coast University offers one of the accelerated dental hygiene courses in California. With this accelerated course, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 34 months. 

The program has coursework that includes courses on general education and dental hygiene. The general education courses are available and can be taken online, while the dental hygiene courses are mainly offered on campus. 

West Coast University is the fastest among dental hygienist schools in California where you can obtain a Bachelor’s degree within a short period.

Do you want to know about dental hygiene programs at West Coast University?

4. San Joaquin Valley College, Ontario & Visalia

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • School Address: 8344 W MINERAL KING AVE VISALIA, CA 93291

San Joaquin Valley College is one of the small-sized dental hygienist schools in California. A private for-profit college located in Visalia, California with a total enrollment of 5,275 and 1,927 undergraduates. 

San Joaquin Valley offers an associate degree program in dental hygiene, which can be completed in 16 months. If you are enrolled in this program, you will learn advanced technical skills which include the use of intra-oral cameras, X-ray techniques, placing of dental, fluoride, and many more. 

To get more information on dental hygiene programs at San Joaquin Valley, visit the college’s official website.

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5. Foothill College, Los Altos Hills 

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • No Application Fee
  • In-State Tuition: $1,563 (2018-2019)
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,503
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
  • School Address: 12345 EL MONTE RD LOS ALTOS HILLS, CA 94022

Foothill College is a small size public institution located in Los Altos, California. As one of the smallest dental hygienist schools in California, Foothill College has a total enrollment of 14,732.

Foothill College offers two bachelor’s degree programs in dental hygiene.

Entry-Level Bachelors of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene

In this program, you are required to complete a curriculum including courses in general education, science, and social science in the first two years. Upon completion of the first curriculum, you are required to apply for the dental hygiene program. If you are accepted, you will need to complete 107 credits in basic core courses in dental hygiene and upper-division general education.

The process takes additional two years of study and it includes coursework in dental radiology, oral anatomy, dental health education, periodontics, dental material, etc.

Associate in Science to Bachelor in Science Dental Hygiene Program 

This is a program for individuals who have completed an associate degree in dental hygiene and want to acquire more skills and knowledge. To obtain a degree in this program, you must complete 8 online courses. 

For more information on dental hygiene programs at Foothill College, the school’s official website is in the link below.

6. Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • No Application Fee
  • In-State Tuition: $1,312 (2018/2019)
  • Out of State Tuition: $8,564
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
  • School Address: 321 GOLF CLUB RD PLEASANT HILL, CA 94523

Diablo Valley College is one of the mid-sized dental hygienist colleges in California. Located in Pleasant Hill, California, Diablo Valley has an undergraduate enrollment of 6,709 and 20,271 in total.

The degree offered at Diablo Valley College is a two-year associate degree program in dental hygiene. The program is on a full-time schedule and classes are to be attended during the day. 

To earn a degree in this program, you must complete a curriculum that includes general education and basic core courses. Completing these courses will enable you to take the National and Regional Dental Hygiene Board exams.

Diablo Valley College is highly selective when it comes to admission policy in dental hygiene programs.

If you are interested in dental hygiene programs at Diablo Valley College, you can visit their official website via the link below.

7. Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,328
  • Out of State Tuition: $8,174
  • No Application 
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
  • School Address: 1501 MENDOCINO AVENUE SANTA ROSA, CA 95401

Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the small-sized dental hygienist schools in California.

Santa Rosa Junior College offers a full-time associate degree program in dental hygiene that can be completed in five semesters. The coursework in this program provides the best professional skill and knowledge to students through an exquisite atmosphere of learning. 

General education and pre-requisite courses are to be completed before you start the coursework in dental hygiene.

Follow the link below to head to the official website of Santa Rosa Junior College. 

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8. Taft College, Taft

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,410
  • Out of State Tuition: $8,430
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 37:1
  • School Address: 29 COUGAR COURT TAFT, CA 93268

Taft College is a public institution situated in Taft, California.

As one of the dental hygienist schools in California, Taft College offers a two-year associate degree program in dental hygiene. The coursework in this program expatiate your knowledge on oral health and you will acquire skills in patient assessment, evaluating and planning patient’s dental hygiene, etc. 

The link below will direct you to the official website of Taft College. 

9. Concorde Career College, San Bernardino, Garden Grove & San Diego

  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
  • No Application Fee
  • School Address: 4393 IMPERIAL AVENUE, SUITE 100 SAN DIEGO, CA 92113

Concorde Career College is one of the small-sized dental hygienist colleges in California with an enrollment of 664 students. 

The degree offered at Concorde Career College is an associate degree. To earn a degree in this program, you must complete 111.5 credit coursework. The program lasts for 17 months and is separated into 9 terms. 

The program’s coursework also includes practical training that takes place at the college’s clinic.

To get more details about dental hygiene programs at Concorde Career College, visit the school’s official website.

10. Southwestern College, Chula Vista 

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,388
  • Out of State Tuition: $6,602
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
  • School Address: 900 OTAY LAKES RD. CHULA VISTA, CA 91910

Southwestern College is one of the mid-sized dental hygienist schools in California. A public institution located in Chula Vista, California with an enrollment of 6,403 undergraduate students.

Southwestern College offers a two-year associate degree program in dental hygiene. To complete the coursework in this program, you need to attend up to 60 to 65 hours of classes a week.

There are 53 credits in the core dental hygiene coursework including courses in dental radiology, oral anatomy, dental pharmacology, pain control, periodontics, physiology, dental material, clinical health, community health, and ethics and laws important to dental practice. 

For more information on dental hygiene programs, the official website of Southwestern College is shared in the link below. 

11. Carrington College, Sacramento & San Jose

  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • School Address: 5883 RUE FERRARI #125 SAN JOSE, CA 95138

Besides the University of Southern California, which is also one of the best dental hygienist universities in California. There are other community-based colleges that offer top-quality education on dental health

Carrington College is a private for-profit institution situated in San Jose, California.

At Carrington College, the program offered is a two-year associate degree in dental hygiene. The program’s curriculum is designed to assist you in acquiring technical skills to perform dental procedures such as removing plaques, applying fluoride and sealant, performing oral X-rays, and collecting patient data.

For you to be eligible for this program, you must complete the pre-requisite coursework from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.7 and nothing below a grade “of C”.

Find out more about the dental hygiene programs offered at Carrington College on the school’s official website via the link below.

12. Sacramento City College, Sacramento

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,104
  • Out of State Tuition: $8,712
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
  • School Address: 3835 FREEPORT BLVD SACRAMENTO, CA 95822

Sacramento City College is one of the small-sized dental hygienist schools in California with an enrollment of 4,386 undergraduate students.

Sacramento City College offers a two-year degree in dental hygiene. The coursework includes 39.5 credits in pre-requisite courses and 45.5 credits in dental hygiene courses. Once you complete the coursework, you will be eligible to sit for the national and state licensing exams. 

As one of the dental hygienist colleges in California, Sacramento City College recommends algebra, chemistry, biology, and physiology to be included in your high subjects. The inclusion of this subject will help you prepare for the program. 

You can get more information about dental hygiene programs on the college’s website.

13. Cabrillo College, Aptos

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,270
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,462
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
  • School Address: 6500 SOQUEL DR APTOS, CA 95003

Cabrillo College is one of the small-sized dental hygienist colleges in California with an enrollment of 3,201 undergraduate students. The college is a public institution located in Aptos, California and the highest degree offered is an associate degree. 

The University of Southern California is one of the dental hygienist universities in California that is more selective in its admission process and Cabrillo College has a similar admission policy in admitting students into its dental hygiene programs.

Cabrillo College offers a two-year associate degree program in dental hygiene. It admits only 22 students every year and classes are from Mondays through Fridays on a full-time schedule.

Anatomy of the oral cavity, knowledge of dental materials, oral health education, dental radiology, dental terminology, periodontics, and dental insurance are the topics included in the dental hygiene coursework.

To enrol in this program, you are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.7 in all pre-requisite science courses with a minimum grade of “C” in general courses.

For more information on dental hygiene programs at Cabrillo College.

14. Chabot College, Hayward

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,142
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,742
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1 
  • School Address: 25555 HESPERIAN BLVD HAYWARD, CA 94545

Chabot College is a public institution situated in Hayward, California. The school operates a semester-based system and the highest degree offered is an associate degree.

Chabot College offers an associate degree program in dental hygiene. To graduate, you need to complete 60.5 credits in both general education and dental hygiene courses with a minimum grade of “C”. 

The college’s official website is shared in the link for more information on dental hygiene programs.

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15. Fresno City College, Fresno

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,304
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,494
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 27:1
  • School Address:

Fresno City College is one of the mid-sized dental hygienist colleges in California with an enrollment of 6,012 undergraduate students. 

Fresno City College offers a program on dental hygiene and it is an associate degree. To complete this full-time, 4-semester program, you are required to attend classes and practical training on campus and at affiliated clinical locations. 

If you are interested in the dental hygiene programs at Fresno City College.

16. Cerritos College, Norwalk

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,346
  • Out of State Tuition: $8,710
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
  • School Address: 11110 ALONDRA BLVD NORWALK, CA 90650

Among dental hygienist colleges and universities in California, Cerritos is one of the mid-sized institutions and it has an enrollment of 8,240 undergraduate students.

Cerritos College offers a two-year associate degree program in dental health. For more information about the dental hygiene program at Cerritos College.

17. West Los Angeles College, Culver City

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,220
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,746
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
  • School Address: 9000 OVERLAND AVENUE CULVER CITY, CA 90230

West Los Angeles College is among the small-sized dental hygienist schools in California with a total enrollment of 11,734.

West Los Angeles College offers a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and other Dental Hygiene courses. 

Get more information on dental hygiene programs at West Los Angeles College.

18. Pasadena City College, Pasadena

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,166
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,548
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
  • School Address: 1570 E COLORADO BLVD. PASADENA, CA 91106

Pasadena City College is one of the dental hygienist colleges in California. A mid-sized public institution situated in Pasadena, California with an enrollment of 9,427 undergraduates. 

Pasadena City College offers a two-year associate degree program in dental hygiene.

Get more information about the dental hygiene offered at Pasadena City College.

19. Oxnard College, Oxnard

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,388
  • Out of State Tuition: $7,050
  • No Application Fee 
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 31:1
  • School Address: 4000 S ROSE AVE OXNARD, CA 93033

Out of the dental hygienist colleges and universities in California, Oxnard College is one of the small-sized public institutions. Located in Oxnard, California, its undergraduate enrollment is just 1,838 students.

The dental hygiene program offered at Oxnard College is an associate degree. 

Get more information on the college’s official website.

20. Cypress College, Cypress

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • In-State Tuition: $1,140
  • Out of State Tuition: $6,158
  • No Application Fee
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
  • School Address: 9200 VALLEY VIEW CYPRESS, CA 90630

Cypress College is one of the dental hygienist schools in California with a total enrollment of 15,794. Located in Cypress, California, the college offers an associate degree in dental hygiene program.

Once you complete the dental hygiene program and the general education requirements, you will be eligible for an associate of science degree from the college.

Get more information about the dental hygiene program offered at Cypress College.

Conclusion

A dental hygienist is an important health professional in the healthcare system. 

The best dental hygienist schools in California offer a variety of dental hygiene programs you can choose from.

Additionally, dental hygienists in Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim area are the top earners in the U.S in dental health. You can build a career in dental health with growth prospects of dental hygiene jobs looking promising.

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