Dental Hygiene Department

dental hygiene department

Chair:     Pamela Powers
Division:   Biological and Health Sciences
Directory: Dental hygiene faculty and staff

Possible career opportunities

Most dental hygienists are employed in general dental practices but can also be employed in specialty practices such as periodontics or pediatric dentistry. Hygienists may provide services in hospitals, nursing homes and public health clinics.

Associate degree and certificate information

Degrees and certificates offered by the Dental Hygiene Department

Associate degree in science

  • Dental hygiene (DENHY)


Certificate of achievement

  • Dental hygiene (DENHY)


Dental Hygiene Department class schedules

spring DENHY class schedule

summer DENHY class schedule

fall DENHY class schedule


Biological and Health Sciences Division page



Dental hygienists use their knowledge and clinical skills to provide dental hygiene care for patients. They also use interpersonal skills to motivate, counsel and educate patients on preventing oral disease and maintaining oral health through good oral hygiene and nutrition. The Diablo Valley College dental hygiene program prepares students to work in a dental office as a licensed member of the dental health team.

Students learn:

  • How to assess and evaluate periodontal conditions
  • How to plan and implement appropriate treatment
  • Patient screening procedures
  • How to take and develop dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • How to remove calculus and plaque (hard and soft deposits) from all surfaces of the teeth
  • How to apply preventive materials to the teeth (e.g. sealants and fluorides)
  • How to teach patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health
  • How to counsel patients regarding good nutrition and its impact on oral health
  • How to make impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth used by dentists to evaluate patient treatment needs)
  • How to perform documentation and office management activities
  • Pharmacology for the dental hygienist
  • Local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation
  • Coronal polishing

Advisory to Students

Communicable Diseases: The colleges of the District shall cooperate with local health officers in measures necessary for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in students and comply with any immunization programs required by State Department of Health Services regulations.

It is the intent of the Contra Costa Community College District to provide students with a safe learning environment. Students who can be “reasonably anticipated” to come in contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials through their studies will be provided with training materials, personal protective devices, medical treatment and any necessary follow-up. Additional information can be found at (See blood borne pathogens)

Dental hygiene application information

Dental Hygiene Teaching Clinic

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