Dental Hygiene

Support our Dental Hygiene students today!

Each spring, the Student Poster Competition provides hygiene students with a fun and creative way to exhibit their innovative ideas and unique talents. Through an engaging, spirited contest, students each year use this opportunity to present research and information that reflects an area of dental hygiene significant to them, to their patients and peers. 

Your support will help cover the travel expenses that our students incur as a result of participating in these competitions. 

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Department is to provide opportunities for the student to reach their greatest potential in the profession of dental hygiene so that they may achieve a sense of dignity, value, and personal worth in the community regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. The department's focus is on student success through effective teaching practices, in both the didactic and clinical areas. We promote student engagement in the broader community through experiential activities and utilize current scientific knowledge to design and implement learning opportunities based on current professional trends.

Application information for the Fall of 2024 cycle is available on the Application Information page.  The Dental Hygiene application cycle will open February 1, 2024 and close on April 1, 2024.  Applications submitted prior to the opening date of February 1, 2024 will not be considered.

The Cerritos College Dental Hygiene program is currently in the process of transitioning to a Bachelor of Science degree program. The anticipated launch date of the Bachelor’s program is Fall 2025. Please note that once the Bachelor’s program is in place, there will no longer be an Associate of Arts degree program. Please continue to monitor our website for updates. 


The Dental Hygiene Program at Cerritos College was established in 1973 and is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.   The program is well known throughout the community and the state for providing educated and qualified dental hygienists. 

Successful completion of the two-year program qualifies you to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam and the Regional Board Exams for Licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist. Cerritos proudly claims 100% pass rate on National and Regional Board exams.  

Wet Laboratories for the prerequisite biomedical coursework to gain entrance into the dental hygiene educational programs will be accepted. In reviewing the law pertaining to wet labs, the methodology for teaching the prerequisite bioscience coursework can be accepted whether it’s completed in-person traditionally at the school or through online means in conjunction with home kits and faculty instruction as long as the school accepts the credit for this coursework. Our law only states that there must be a wet lab for these biomedical science courses. 

Special Notations: Cerritos College Dental Hygiene uses outside clinical facilities for patient experiences and completion of clinical hours. 

Although citizenship is not a requirement for Cerritos College, it is a requirement for our outside clinical facilities and badging privileges may be denied without US citizenship and/or a social security number. In this case the student will not be able to complete their clinical experiences and will need to discontinue the program. 

Backgrounds checks are also completed, and the clinical facility may deny badging privileges if they deem any previous legal violations are not acceptable. Therefore, denying badging privileges which would not allow the student to continue in the program. 

Please Note: The Dental Hygiene building will be undergoing a remodeling process beginning December 2021. Therefore, please be aware that the program will be in temporary modular classrooms for two years, except for our outside clinical facilities which remain unaffected.  The curriculum remains the same. We are projected to return to our new building in Spring 2025.


What is a Dental Hygienist??

A registered dental hygienist is an oral health professional licensed in dental hygiene who provides preventive, educational and therapeutic services supporting total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. 

Dental hygiene is a rapidly growing profession. The U.S. Department of Labor advises that dental hygiene is projected to be one of the 30 fastest growing occupations. Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth will stimulate demand for dental hygienists. California statistics (California Employment Development Department) concur, projecting very strong growth in the number of opportunities available for registered dental hygienists, a trend driven by the public's heightened awareness of the importance of regular dental care and an aging population with extended dental care need. 

The Cerritos College Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Our program has received full accreditation status each seven-year accreditation cycle. 

The Dental Hygiene Program is a two-year degree program. Upon completion of the program, graduating students will receive an Associate in Arts Degree in Dental Hygiene and will qualify to take the National Written Exam and Regional Clinical Dental Hygiene Board Exam. Successful passage of the examinations qualifies the graduate to practice dental hygiene in various states.