Dental Hygienist Schools in Los Angeles, CA

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Dental hygienists work in collaboration with the dental team to guide patients in the maintenance of oral health and the prevention of oral diseases. They counsel and educate individuals, families, and communities on the correlation between nutrition with oral health, application of preventative materials to patients’ teeth, taking and developing radiographs, screening patients and assessing oral health, and removing plaque from the surface of the teeth.

Candidates for initial licensure in California as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) can do so through the completion of an Application to Practice Dental Hygiene through WREB. The candidate must successfully complete a state-approved and accredited Dental Hygiene program, complete the WREB dental hygiene clinical exam, complete approved courses in the administration of local anesthesia, soft tissue curettage, and nitrous oxide and pass the National written exam. The final step, after completing the WREB application, is to take the written Registered Dental Hygienist law and ethics exam administered by PSI. A license will be administered to candidates who successfully pass the exam.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive job prospects for dental hygienists with job growth of 11% for the next decade. Dental hygienists work in general practices and specialty areas such as pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and oral surgery. Non-traditional workplaces include insurance agencies, education, consulting, administration, and sales. The median wage for dental hygienists was $76,220 per year in 2019.

West Los Angeles College

West Los Angeles College’s dental hygiene program stands among the most respected in the country. The program leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree. The school also offers a BS completion program for dental hygienists who hold an Associate of Science Degree and a

Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) program for those who plan to serve the community in an alternative setting. Major courses include histology and embryology of oral tissues, dental health education, cariology and occlusion, law and ethics of dental hygiene, and much more. Candidates for the program should complete the prerequisites before applying to the program.

Program overview:
Bachelor of Science Dental Hygienist
Duration: 4 years


  • Submit an online application to West Los Angeles College and obtain a student ID
  • Complete the prerequisite courses – Anatomy, Physiology, Fundamentals of Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Microbiology, Public Speaking, General Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Critical Thinking, Statistics, Cultural Anthropology
  • Submit a completed Dental Hygiene Application Form
  • Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA for all courses taken
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for science prerequisite courses
  • Consideration is given to applicants who score over 58% on the ATI TEAS Assessment, have previous verifiable work experience, have a valid dental assistant license or certification, and complete courses in nutrition, medical terminology, organic chemistry, general physics, and political science
  • Applicants may need to complete a physical exam, verification of immunity, vision test, and drug testing before the start of the program

Program cost:
The enrollment fee is $46 per unit. Other costs for books, supplies, kit, and fees will apply.

Address: 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: 310-287-4200

Pasadena City College

The Dental Hygiene Associate in Science (AS) degree program offered by Pasadena City College prepares adults for employment as a dental hygienist. Theory and practical instruction will emphasize the health of the teeth and oral cavity, prevention of tooth decay, and maintenance of dental health. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Areas of study include dental hygiene, introduction to oral health research, advanced techniques in clinical dental hygiene, dental health education, communication, and diversity, dental morphology and occlusion, and other pertinent topics. Program graduates will be prepared to take the state licensure exam.

Program overview:
Associate of Science Dental Hygienist
Duration: 2 years full-time


  • Must be able to communicate safely, accurately, and effectively in written and spoken English
  • Complete prerequisite courses before applying to the program. Courses must be completed with a minimum grade C
  • Submit a completed Dental Hygiene Program Application
  • Provide one official transcript of high school and all colleges and universities attended
  • Acceptance may be based on the outcome of a criminal background check
  • Additional consideration will be given to candidates with dental-related education, work experience, or documented observation hours of a licensed registered dental hygienist
  • Submit verification of work experience, licenses, certificates, or completion of a dental assistant program
  • Complete an application for admission to Pasadena City College
  • Complete health clearance
  • Provide a copy of current American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR Card
  • Purchase student malpractice insurance

Program cost:
The cost of the program is $7,625 if completed in a normal time.

Address: 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106
Phone: 626-585-7123

Cerritos College

The Cerritos College Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation with full accreditation status. The two-year program leads to an Associate in Arts Degree in Dental Hygiene. Instructors will use lectures, demonstrations, and interactive discussions to deliver theory in the classroom. The clinical coursework will be conducted at extended facilities where students will have the opportunity to collaborate with members of the dental team in the care of clients. The courses must be taken in sequence. Graduates will be eligible to take the National and State Board Dental Hygiene exam to practice as a dental hygienist in California. New students are admitted in the fall of each year. Classes are conducted mainly in the daytime but some courses may extend into the evening.

Program overview:
Associate of Science Dental Hygienist
Duration: 2 years full-time

  • Submit a completed application with all the required documents
  • Obtain a satisfactory score on the Cerritos College Assessment Test or obtain clearance in English, Mathematics, and Reading
  • Must have valid CPR certification including Health Care Provider with an AED
  • Complete a physical exam, immunizations, and TB testing
  • Complete background check before acceptance to the program
  • Must have good vision and the ability to communicate effectively
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a minimum grade C – Introductory Chemistry, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Introduction to Microbiology and Bacteriology, Nutrition,
  • Completing medical terminology is strongly recommended
  • Obtain admission to Cerritos College
  • Special consideration will be given to students with related work experience

Program cost:
The enrollment fee is $46 per unit. Students can expect to spend an additional $13,000 for books, instruments, uniforms, equipment, immunizations, and miscellaneous fees.

Address: 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, California 90650
Phone: (562) 860-2451

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC is one of only 55 schools that confer the bachelor of science dental hygienist degree. The dental hygienist curriculum includes coursework in the basic sciences, general education, and clinical. There will be an emphasis on ethics, values, skills, and knowledge related to the profession. Students will learn how to assess patients’ medical, dental, and social histories to care for populations of all ages, promote health, and prevent disease. The practical experiences in a clinical setting support the development of problem solving, teamwork, working with diverse clients, and the performance of preventative procedures. Graduates will be eligible to take the California licensure exam and work in various settings include private offices, public health, research, and teaching.

Program overview:
Bachelor of Science Dental Hygienist
Duration: 4 years full-time


  • Complete the prerequisite and general education courses with a grade C or higher before applying to the program. Prerequisite courses include English Composition, General Chemistry and Lab, General Biology and Lab, General Microbiology, General Nutrition, General Physiology, General Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Speech
  • Submit a completed application before the deadline
  • Apply for undergraduate admission to USC
  • Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities to be sent to the USC Office of Undergraduate Admission
  • Attend an interview with a program administrator. Interviews must be scheduled.
  • Pay the non-refundable deposit of $1,000 within 14 days of acceptance
  • Meet the health requirements

Program cost:
The total cost of the program is $144,787. It includes tuition, dental equipment, health insurance, disability insurance, scrubs fee, orientation fee, dental gown usage fee, and student programming fee.

Address: 925 West 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641
Phone: (213) 740-2800