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Questions and Answers

1. What is a registered dental hygienist?

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

2. Is dental experience necessary?

No. Many of our students have little or no dental experience. Students without experience have had no difficulty in completing the dental hygiene program. Dental experience can be helpful in a few courses, such as dental radiography or dental anatomy. However, it is not necessary for acceptance into the program.

3. If I already have my x-ray license, do I have to take radiology?

All students must take the radiology course as it is part of the dental hygiene curriculum.

4. Does age or gender make any difference in the program?

No. Age varies from class to class, and it is not an issue. As for gender, the program does not discriminate. Historically, dental hygiene programs have been predominantly female. However, within the past few years, more men have been enrolling in Dental Hygiene programs throughout the state.

5. How much time will I be expected to spend in the program?

The Dental Hygiene program is a full-time, 2-year program. The program starts in mid-August each year and ends approximately at the end of May. There is no summer Dental Hygiene program. This professional program has sequential curriculum, and learning is cumulative and competency-based. Your placement into the program requires academic and personal commitment to study. It is recommended that students assume self-direction in the educational process.

6. Are there expectations outside the classrooms?

Yes. Classroom instruction covers a great deal of information during the program; however, the student has additional reading and assignments to do outside class. It is important that students understand that the program is academically challenging. It is helpful to take a study skills class before entering. This will help greatly when going through the program.

7. How much of a support system is there in the program?

The best support system is your fellow classmates. Classes work as a team. Each member of a class has an understanding of the demands and work within the program. Also, each first year student has a big brother or sister, who is a member of the second year class. These big brothers and sisters act as mentors and resource persons to first year students.

Counseling Services, Financial Aid, and Tutorials can also offer services.

8. What is the cost of the Dental Hygiene program?

Though costs vary from year to year, please refer to our list of approximate costs. You can expect that costs for books, the instrument kit, and personal protective equipment will change somewhat from year to year.

9. Can I work while I'm in the program?

Yes, you can work, but due to the demands of the program, it is not advisable. Most current students recommend that enrollees should not plan to work for the 2 years while they are in the program.

10. Does Chabot place students into the program by lottery?

No. Students must take the required prerequisite courses and obtain a minimum of C in all of them. A point system is used to determine which students will be placed into the class. Points are awarded for grade point averages, grades in Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology, and for residence in the district. Those with the highest point totals will be offered spaces in the program. Remaining students will be put on an alternate list in point order. If any of the students originally chosen for the program decline to be in the class, alternates will be offered spaces in the class in order of point total.

11. Does the Chabot College Dental Hygiene Program maintain a waitlist?

Chabot College does not maintain a waitlist. Non-accepted applicants must reapply each year. It is suggested that prospective students apply to other accredited Dental Hygiene Programs as well.

12. What is the job outlook for Dental Hygienists?

It is excellent! 100% job placement of graduates who pass the State Board Examination is typical. This is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.

13. How much money can I earn in this field?

Earnings vary depending on the amount of experience of the dental hygienist, the location of employment, and the employer specialty. Dental hygienists who work in private dental offices are usually salaried, although some are paid a commission for work performed or a combination of salary and commission. Most dental hygienists work for more than one dentist. The approximate annual earnings for a full time dental hygienist in the East Bay run $70,000-$80,000.

14. What are the work conditions?

Dental hygienists work in a number of settings. Most work in private dental offices. However, some work in public health settings and for dental corporations. Important health protection for persons working in this field includes regular medical check-ups and strict adherence to established procedures for using x-ray equipment and infection control measures.

15. Does Chabot College offer on campus housing?

We do not provide dormitories or other types of college-sponsored housing. Housing information is available through the Office of Student Life.

16. How can I find out if the courses I am taking at my school are equivalent to the courses at Chabot College?

Chabot College uses the California Articulation Number (CAN) system to determine course equivalency between colleges. A CAN match between colleges means the courses are equivalent. For more information on the California Articulation Number (CAN) system, please go to: http://www.can.csus.edu/CANCatalog.asp.

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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 11/5/2015