California Dental Hygienist Schools

California's population continues to grow and it is one of the most diverse regions in the United States. Because of the population growth the demand for dental hygienists has also grown, with shortages reported in many areas. California is one of the highest paying states for this occupation; the mean annual salary is over $90,000. If you are considering becoming a dental hygienist and are a California residen,t you are indeed fortunate. Many community colleges offer 2 year associates degree and as a resident you can benefit from the states affordable community college programs. Most schools will require you have a year of prerequisites including, several life sciences, communication, sociology, psychology and college level math credits. You must have a gotten at least a "C" grade on these classes for them to qualify.

Becoming a Certified Dental Hygienist in California

The curriculum for an associate's degree in dental hygiene will include comprehensive courses in basic sciences, oral anatomy, public health, nutrition, periodontics, pathology, radiology and clinical dental hygiene. Programs should include supervised clinical experiences with patients. Students who successfully complete the program receive an Associate in Science Degree in Dental Hygiene and are qualified to take the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and the California State Licensing Examination. Once you are licensed in the state of California you will need to take 25 hours of continuing education every two years for your renewal. This includes certification in basic life support, 2 units of infection control and 2 units of California law and the dental practice act. You can get more information on continuing education requirements on the DHCC website.

Bachelor degrees and advanced degrees are also available for dental hygienist wishing to advance their career opportunities. California is one of a few states that offer the RDHAP degree. This is a postgraduate program designed for dental hygienists who would like to expand their ability and knowledge to treat people with complex physical, medical, psychological or social situations.

Dental hygienists are in great demand and the salaries are excellent. Projected growth in this healthcare field is 30% by the year 2016. This projected growth ranks dental hygienists among the fastest growing occupations with California having one of the highest demands. You can find an advanced list of accredited schools in California on the ADHA and CDHA websites.