The best dental hygiene schools in California are the ones approved by the ADA. California residents who are thinking about pursuing a career in dental hygiene should know that they are first required by the state to complete an ADA-approved registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) training program.
Dental hygiene schools in California are approved at the state level by various agencies. This depends on the type of degree being provided by a particular training institution. The state uses the Dental Hygiene Committee of California to grant licensure to qualified California Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienist license requirements in California
Candidates who have never attended dental hygiene schools in California are first required to meet the following requirements before they can be allowed to practice as dental hygienists:
- Enroll into a graduate approved dental school and graduate
- Pass the Western Regional Examination Board (WREB) licensing exam
- Be screened to find if you have a criminal record
Dentists practicing in other states have the freedom to apply for “license by credential” via the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC). The “license by credential” process allows candidates to forgo the California’s licensing examination requirement.
Students in dental hygiene schools in California who are either in their third or fourth year of study can also apply to take the state’s dental hygiene licensing exam.
The curriculum for dental schools in California
Dental schools in California typically offer a two year associate level degree programs. Individual educational providers are allowed to come up with their own class schedules and curse offering but all ADA approved dental hygiene schools in California must provide students with:
- A classroom-based, academic instructional component
- Clinical training components supervised by a licensed dentist
Students taking classes on one of various approved dental schools in California are taught various academic and clinical subject areas including dental practice, anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, microbiology, sociology, chemistry, English, immunology, radiology among others.
Besides the academic component, students have the opportunity to work directly with patients in a clinical setting. This is to prepare them for both state and national licensing examinations
Programs offered in dental hygiene schools in California
DHCC has approved over 20 dental hygiene schools in California that offer approved RDH training. The schools include community colleges and four year training institutions
Benefits of training in dental schools in California
Students who graduate from approved dentistry programs and pass both the state and national licensing exam are allowed to practice in California as a dental hygienist.
Popular California Dental Hygienist Schools
Riverside community college
This is one of the dental hygiene schools in California. It was founded in 1916 and provides more than 100 certificate and associate’s degree programs. It has capacity train more than 36,000 students in the main campus in Riverside and four additional campuses in southern California
Associates in science in dental hygiene
This is a two year program that requires prospective students wishing to join satisfy prerequisites in physiology, anatomy, microbiology, math and English in addition to being CPR certified. The colleges enrolls 20 candidates to the dental hygiene program every fall semester
There are several other dental hygiene schools in California not mentioned above.