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Dental Hygiene: Associate in Science


Taft College’s Dental Hygiene Program consists of two-years and over 1600 hours of courses focused solely on education that culminates competence in preventing and treating oral diseases to protect the oral cavity and the patients’ total health. Throughout the program, students will learn and participate in lectures, labs, and patient care clinic sessions, where they gain skills in health assessment, dental hygiene treatment planning, periodontal instrumentation and preventative oral health education leading them to entry-level competence for a license to practice. The Taft College Dental Hygiene Program gives students the knowledge, experience, and educational requirements necessary to pass regional and national board examinations. The Program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and is approved by the Dental Hygiene Board of California.

Prerequisites and Selection Criteria

Taft College accepts 20 qualified students into its Dental Hygiene Program each fall semester. There are minimum admission requirements that all applicants must meet in order to be considered for acceptance into the program. 

The application period for the class beginning each fall will be available mid-January and must be received in the Admissions Office by the last day of February.

All program prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” or better by December of the prior year. No in-progress prerequisites will be accepted.

Program requirements and selection criteria are subject to change. Students applying to the Dental Hygiene program must meet catalog and program requirements in effect at the time of application to the program. Visit the Taft College Dental Hygiene website or contact the department for current information.

Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” or better in each of the following prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite courses (Taft College course or equivalent course from another school)

BIOL 2250Human Anatomy

5.00 Credits(s)

BIOL 2257Human Physiology with Lab

5.00 Credits(s)

BIOL 2260General Microbiology

5.00 Credits(s)

CHEM 1520Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry

4.00 Credits(s)

ENGL 1500Composition and Reading

3.00 Credits(s)

MATH 1060Intermediate Algebra

4.00 Credits(s)

PSYC 1500Introduction to Psychology

3.00 Credits(s)

SOC 1510Introduction to Sociology

3.00 Credits(s)

SOC 2110Introduction to Race and Ethnicity

3.00 Credits(s)

COMM 1507Small Group Communication

3.00 Credits(s)


COMM 1511Public Speaking

3.00 Credits(s)

*All completed prerequisite science courses must be completed by 2018 or later in order to meet the five (5) year recency requirement.

*A two-semester combination Anatomy and Physiology course may be substituted for the Anatomy and Physiology requirement. A one-semester survey course is not acceptable.

*The program's cultural diversity requirement (SOC 2110) may be satisfied by any Taft College course that meets the local ethnic studies requirement.

*MATH 1060 can be satisfied by a higher level mathematics course (CSU GE-Breadth Area B-4).

*Applicants must hold a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or better in all college coursework.


The selection criteria will be applied to those applicants who have met minimum program requirements. There is a cumulative total of 200 points possible in the following categories:

• GPA in prerequisite coursework (50 points)
• Cumulative GPA in all college coursework (45 points)
• Number of units completed at Taft College (40 points)
• Progress towards the completion of general education requirements for the Associate Degree (20 points)
• Attainment of a degree or certificate (20 points)

• Related work experience (25 points)

All points will be determined by consensus of the Selection Committee. Program requirements and selection criteria are subject to change. Students applying to the Dental Hygiene Program must meet catalog and program requirements in effect at the time of application to the program. Contact the Dental Hygiene Department for current information at 661. 763.7706.

Upon successful completing of the dental hygiene program,
1. Legal and Ethical Principles. The graduates will be competent in the ethical and legal aspects of the Dental Hygiene profession.
2. Dental Hygiene Process of Care. The graduates will be competent in providing preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene services to patients of all ages, ethnicity, and socioeconomic levels.
3. Community Awareness. The graduates will participate in various community health programs that will focus on improving the oral health of individuals, families, and community groups.
4. Life Long Learning. The graduates will apply experience, skills, and knowledge to develop and implement a plan for professional growth.
5. Infection Control. The graduates will be competent in all aspects of infection control procedures and hazardous waste management.
6. Critical Thinking. The graduates will be competent in problem solving strategies related to comprehensive patient care and management of patients using current scientific evidence to formulate a patient-centered comprehensive care plan.

Program Requirements

Required Courses

DNTL 1510Oral Biology

4.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 1511Oral Radiology

2.50 Credits(s)

DNTL 1512Head and Neck Anatomy

3.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 1513Dental Health Education/Seminar

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 1514Introduction to Clinic

5.50 Credits(s)

DNTL 2020Local Anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide

2.50 Credits(s)

DNTL 2021General and Oral Pathology

4.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2024Clinical Practice I

5.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2025Patient Management and Geriatrics

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2026Nutrition in Dentistry

1.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2130Periodontics I

3.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2131Pharmacology

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2132Dental Materials

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2133Advanced Clinical Topics

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2134Clinical Practice II

5.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2135Community Oral Health I

2.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2240Periodontics II

1.50 Credits(s)

DNTL 2242Ethics, Law & Practice Management

3.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2243Clinical Practice III

6.00 Credits(s)

DNTL 2244Community Oral Health II

2.00 Credits(s)

Total Credit Hours:60

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This degree does not prepare a student to transfer to a four-year college or university. However, certain courses may be transferrable to other colleges and universities. If you are interested in transferring to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in this major, it is critical that you meet with a TC counselor to select and plan the courses for your major. Schools vary widely in terms of the required preparation. The courses that TC requires for an associate degree in this major may be different from the requirements needed for the bachelor’s degree.