Our Story



Until the early 1960s, the three dental hygiene programs in California were baccalaureate programs housed within three of the four dental schools (USC, Loma Linda and UCSF). As the demand for preventive services increased due partly to a better educated public and the advent of dental insurance, there was a move to place dental hygiene programs in community colleges and offer AA degrees. The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF), formerly known as the UC Medical Center was the first to investigate offering the first program under their affiliation at Diablo Valley College (DVC)  in Pleasant Hill. Dr. Reed Buffington was the Superintendent of the Contra Costa Community College District when the dental hygiene program started at DVC in 1961 under the directorship of Dr. Milton Luxemborg.  In 1964, the dental hygiene program at Foothill College followed.

In 1961, Dr. Reed Buffington was hired to supervise a new college in the South County Community College District in Hayward. Since Dr. Buffington understood the logistics of adding a dental hygiene program in a community college, the Chabot College Dental Hygiene Program was established within the existing Dental Assisting Program in 1968.

A fourteen chair clinic was built on the first floor of the Health Sciences Building. The clinic was remodeled in 1991 to include sit down dentistry and tray delivery systems. In 2009, the clinic was remodeled to add an additional operatory and computers. Each Fall, a cohort of twenty students are accepted into the program. To date, approximately 900 dental hygienists have graduated from the program.  (contributed by Marilyn Rhodes, RDH)