Established in 1959, the Department of Dental Hygiene, the Bachelor of Science degree undergraduate curriculum of the School of Dentistry, is largely focused on preventive oral health services and continuing care. Dental science courses, preclinical lectures and seminars, laboratory exercises, and clinical assignments have been developed to provide training in the variety of procedures delegated to the dental hygienist within the dental practice setting. These experiences are sequenced in an organized manner that provides for continual growth and competency in performance of all traditional and expanded function procedures.

The purpose of the program is to develop professionals prepared for the current practice of dental hygiene, as well as graduates who are additionally prepared to deal with future changes in dentistry. Courses that encourage critical thinking and problem-solving techniques and that enhance the ability to evaluate the latest in research are important adjuncts to clinical training. Upon completion of this curriculum, graduates will be prepared to enter a variety of career options available to dental hygienists.

Dental Hygiene Program curricula are approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).  The program is also approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.


A profession in the health arts and sciences calls increasingly for persons of intelligence, integrity, responsibility, and depth of human understanding. Therefore, the program of instruction is built upon a strong liberal arts foundation. The student is encouraged to take electives that contribute to breadth of knowledge and quality of values. The choice of electives in early college work is important for many reasons.

The School of Dentistry is interested in applicants with the potential to become hygienists who are well-read and caring persons prepared to communicate effectively in professional and community relationships. They should be able to draw upon knowledge of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease, applying resources based on Christian ideals and values to aid in the solution of personal problems. They should also be able to develop attitudes and skills that will most effectively serve society.


The goal of the Dental Hygiene Program is to educate competent, concerned, and active members of the dental hygiene profession who possess the ability to effectively perform the expanding scope of practice of the dental hygienist.

Loma Linda University emphasizes Christian values and beliefs as well as the concept of whole-person care. Opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship among faculty and students are interwoven into daily academic pursuits, clinical practice, and social interactions.

The advancement of dental hygiene depends on an ever-growing body of knowledge. Therefore, this program also places great importance on providing an atmosphere in which students can develop skills necessary to objectively assess new theories and trends in dentistry in light of scientific knowledge and principles. By combining Christian values with an appreciation for research and the scientific method, graduates will continually apply evidence-based principles to patient care and exhibit God’s love in the quality of service they render.

The Dental Hygiene Program is an undergraduate program in the School of Dentistry. A student must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and must meet college entrance requirements. Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is in the junior year after successful completion of the required prerequisite courses in an institutionally accredited college or university.

The application is available at An LLU supplemental application is also required.  The application deadline for the Bachelors program is April 1 and June 1 for the Dental Hygiene to DDS Bridge pathway.

Application procedure

  1. DHCAS application.  The DHCAS application is completed online by the applicant at (between November 1 and April 1.  The DHCAS application takes approximately four to six weeks to be processed and sent to the school where the applicant has applied.
  2. Supplemental applicationAs soon as the DHCAS application is verified by DHCAS and received by LLU the applicant is sent an email invitation from LLU to complete an electronic supplemental application.
  3. Supplemental application deadline.  The applicant must return the completed supplemental application and materials within 30 days.  This includes essays specific to Loma Linda University, a photograph, and the nonrefundable application fee of $100.
  4. Transcripts.  Official college transcripts must be sent to DHCAS. To be considered for admissions, all applicants are required to self-certify that they have received a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Recognized equivalents of a high school diploma are a GED certificate; a high school equivalency certificate (e.g., CHSPE);an associate degree or higher; or successful completion of at least 72 quarter credits (60 semester credits) that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree. When an applicant becomes an accepted student, official college/university transcripts for courses completed since the DHCAS application was submitted are required to be sent to LLU in order for the student to be registered for the first quarter of classes.  International students must submit official transcripts at time of supplemental application.
  5. References.  The applicant is asked to send DHCAS three personal references.  These must include an academic reference from a science instructor; a reference from an employer or professional; a character or religious reference; such as, from a minister.  Members of the applicant's family are excluded from writing the required letters of reference.
  6. Interview.  The applicant's records will be screened when the supplemental application, recommendation, and transcripts are on file.  The applicant may then be invited to the school for a personal interview.  An interview is required for admission.  The interview provides an opportunity for evaluation of noncognitive factors, including communication skills, personal values, motivation, and commitment to goals of the profession; as well as genuine concern for others in the service of dental hygiene.  At the time of the interview, a tour of the school will be given by a current student.
  7. Observation.  It is important that students seek experience observing and assisting in a dental office in order to become familiar with the work of a dental hygienist.  Prior to interviewing, applicants are expected to complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation/work experience in a dental facility.
  8. Acceptance.  Accepted students receive a phone call, an email, and an acceptance letter signed by the Dean.  Upon payment of the deposit, accepted students receive an email that serves as a receipt, as well as information about how to access registration information.

Pre-entrance requirements:

  1. Pre-entrance health requirements/immunizations.  It is expected that necessary routine dental and medical care will have been attended to before the student registers.  New students are required to have certain immunizations and tests before registration.  Forms to document the required immunizations are provided for the physician in the registration information made available electronically to the student by LLU.  In order to avoid having a hold placed on registration, the student is encouraged to return the documentation forms to Student Health Service no later than six weeks prior to the beginning of classes.
    For a complete list of required immunizations and tests, see Section II of this CATALOG under the heading "Health Care." Documentation verifying compliance with this requirement must be provided before registration can be completed.         
    For further information, consult the Student Handbook, Section V—University Policies—Communicable disease transmission prevention policy; or contact the Student Health Service office at 909/558-8770.
    If a returning student is assigned to a clinical facility that requires a tuberculosis skin test, the student is required to have the test within the six months before the assignment begins.
  2. Deposits.  The student accepted into the dental hygiene program must submit a nonrefundable deposit of $100.  All deposits become part of the first quarter's tuition.  Failure to submit this deposit will result in loss of the applicant's position in the class.  The remaining balance of the first quarter's tuition and fees are due no later than the day of matriculation in late September.  If the applicant has submitted a completed application for financial aid by March 2, and if the Stafford application has been submitted by June 15, the final installment can be paid utilizing University-assisted sources. 
  3. Financial requirement.  Non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents are required by U.S. Immigration regulation to pay for their first year of tuition and fees before they can register for Autumn term.  In addition, they must provide documentary evidence of sufficient funds for their second year.  International students will receive the necessary visa applications and registration information after they have submitted their deposit and payment plan.
  4. Financial aid.  A financial aid advisor and financial aid programs are available.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid by email at; or by telephone, 909/558-4509.  Website information is located at

The student is also subject to School of Dentistry academic information, technical standards, financial policy, and University academic policies outlined in this CATALOG.


Dental hygiene students are discouraged from working, however, may accept part-time employment during the school year after receiving approval from the department chair and the associate dean for academic affairs. Permission to work is granted on the basis of grades, class load, and health. Work hours may not interfere with course, laboratory, or clinic assignments.


Dental hygiene students must obtain required textbooks, computers, supplies, instruments, and uniforms. The official instruments issued must be purchased from the School of Dentistry during registration. Unauthorized or incomplete equipment is not acceptable. Advance consent must be obtained for any exception. The student must purchase the professional apparel (uniforms, protective eyewear, and shoes) specified by the School of Dentistry.


To practice, the dental hygienist must pass clinical licensing examinations given by state and/or regional dental examining boards. Examinations are given several times each year. Credentials from the National Board of Dental Examiners are accepted in lieu of the written portion of a state examination in some states. Some states have additional computer-based written examinations. Further information can be obtained from each state licensing board or regional clinical examination website.

Dental Hygiene — B.S.


Shelley L. Hayton

Primary faculty

Larysa Baydala

Caroline Chatigny

Danielle Ellington

Michelle Loomis

Katelyn Malone

Christopher Martija

Britney Pos

Shelly A. Withers

Emerita faculty

Joni A. Stephens


DNHY 303. Dental Materials and Techniques. 2 Units.

Materials and equipment used in dentistry. Practice in the manipulation and use of common materials. Includes a laboratory component.

DNHY 305. Oral Anatomy Lecture. 2 Units.

Anatomy of the teeth and surrounding tissues.

DNHY 305L. Oral Anatomy Laboratory. 1 Unit.

Laboratory for DNHY 305, Oral Anatomy Lecture.

DNHY 309. Radiology I. 3 Units.

Principles governing radiation production and safety relative to radiographic anatomy/dental materials. Fundamentals of intraoral and extraoral techniques, darkroom procedures, and mounting of radiographs. Practical application of techniques. Basic fundamentals of quality assurance.

DNHY 310. Radiology II. 3 Units.

Continues laboratory techniques. Intraoral and extraoral radiographic interpretation—including anatomy, pathology, and interpretation of the disease process of the oral hard tissues. Basic fundamentals of radiographic selection criteria. Includes laboratory component.

DNHY 321. Preclinical Dental Hygiene I Lecture. 2 Units.

Preclinical phases of dental hygiene, including instrumentation techniques, patient management, intra- and extraoral soft-tissue assessment, charting procedures, disease processes, patient-health assessment, basic operatory preparation, clinical asepsis, and oral health-care techniques.

DNHY 321L. Preclinical Dental Hygiene I Laboratory. 2 Units.

Laboratory course for DNHY 321, Preclinical Dental Hygiene I.

DNHY 322. Preclinical Dental Hygiene II Lecture. 2 Units.

Continues DNHY 321.
Prerequisite: DNHY 321.

DNHY 322L. Preclinical Dental Hygiene II Laboratory. 2 Units.

Laboratory course for DNHY 322, Preclinical Dental Hygiene II Laboratory.
Prerequisite: DNHY 321, DNHY 321L.

DNHY 323. Preclinical Dental Hygiene III. 2 Units.

Continues DNHY 322.
Prerequisite or concurrent*: DNHY 321, DNHY 322*, DNHY 321L, DNHY 322L*.

DNHY 323L. Preclinical Laboratory. 1 Unit.

Laboratory course for DNHY 323, Preclinical Laboratory.
Prerequisite or concurrent*: DNHY 321L, DNHY 322L*, DNHY 321, DNHY 322*.

DNHY 328. Dental Hygiene Portfolio Practicum. 1 Unit.

Student develops a capstone project to show evidence of personal growth and success in the dental hygiene core competencies.

DNHY 375. Dental Hygiene Clinic. 1 Unit.

Clinical application of skills and techniques of dental hygiene. Prophylaxes on pediatric and adult patients.

DNHY 376. Dental Hygiene Clinic. 4 Units.

Continues DNHY 375.
Prerequisite or concurrent: DNHY 375.

DNHY 380. Medically Compromised Patients. 2 Units.

Lectures dealing with the medically compromised patient relative to the use of local anesthetics, drug interactions, need for antibiotic premedication, and necessary modification in treatment planning. Repeated registrations required to fulfill total units.

DNHY 381. Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist I. 2 Units.

Introduces the basic principles of pharmacology. Emphasizes the use, actions, and clinical implications/contraindications to medications used by dental patients.

DNHY 382. Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist II. 2 Units.

Continues DNHY 381. Emphasizes application through the use of case studies.

DNHY 390. Introductory Statistics. 2 Units.

Fundamentals of statistical analysis and critique of research data in scientific literature and in student research projects. Inferential and descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, histograms, bar graphs, and statistical tests. Computer applications in preparing and analyzing research data. Domain II.

DNHY 405. Introduction to Periodontics. 2 Units.

Reviews gross and microscopic anatomy of the periodontium in health and disease. Primary etiology of periodontal disease. Examines patient's clinical periodontal status. Introduces the diagnostic and treatment-planning process.

DNHY 406. Orthodontics Concepts for Dental Hygiene. 1 Unit.

Applies basic skeletal and dental growth, and development to orthodontics. Includes treatment modalities and procedures required for successful practice of orthodontics.

DNHY 408. Professional Ethics. 2 Units.

Develops understanding of hygienist's obligations to the public and to their professional association. Defines the ethical and mature conduct expected of professional health-care providers. Compares and contrasts professional ethics and personal morality as they relate to dental hygiene practice.

DNHY 409. Jurisprudence and Practice Management. 2 Units.

Laws and regulations that govern the practice of dental hygiene, with special emphasis on California regulations. Standards of government regulations. Obligations of the hygienist to the public and to their profession.

DNHY 411. Dental Hygiene Topics I. 2 Units.

Student develops advanced hygiene-care planning skills, with emphasis on knowledge synthesis. Topics cover aspects of patient care, including whole-patient care and patients with special needs.

DNHY 413. Dental Hygiene Topics III. 2 Units.

Topics related to employment for dental hygienists. Additional topics include various opportunities in the dental hygiene profession and educational advancement strategies.

DNHY 414. Personal Finance. 2 Units.

Personal finance topics, including credit, taxes, insurance, real estate, budgeting, housing, and inflation.

DNHY 415. Applied Nutrition. 2 Units.

Basic concepts of nutrition. Balance, adequacy, nutrient density, dietary choice, weight management, nutrition, and oral health. Addresses nutritional needs of children and the aged, and medically and dentally compromised patients. Dietary assessment and counseling.

DNHY 416. Dental Health Education I. 2 Units.

Current theories and principles of psychology as they relate to learning and teaching, personality development and change, and interpersonal processes and dynamics.

DNHY 417. Dental Health Education II. 2 Units.

Principles and practices involved in teaching dental public health. Fieldwork in local schools and community. Methods and practice of professional presentation.

DNHY 421. Research I. 2 Units.

Introduces research methodology. Evaluates literature, emphasizing statistics adequate for interpretation of the literature. Student reviews literature and designs a research proposal in preparation for professional presentation of a table clinic or informational project. Inprogress (IP) given until completion of all units for this course.

DNHY 422. Research II. 2 Units.

Review and emphasis of research methodology. Develops literature review, emphasizing statistics adequate for interpretation of the literature. Student continues to develop a research proposal in preparation for professional presentation of a table clinic or informational project. Student conducts research experiment or project culminating in presentation of the results at a professional meeting. In progress (IP) given until completion of all units for this course.

DNHY 431. Public Health Dentistry. 3 Units.

Philosophy, principles, language, and objectives of public health and public health dentistry. Critical review of the literature.

DNHY 435. Special Topics in Periodontal Therapy. 2 Units.

Studies advanced periodontal topics and special problems related to periodontal therapy.

DNHY 450. Junior Clinical Seminar. 1 Unit.

A two-quarter course that introduces topics and issues directly and indirectly related to the comprehensive practice of dental hygiene.

DNHY 451. Clinical Seminar I. 1 Unit.

Topics and issues related to clinical competency and development of critical-thinking skills through the use of patient-care examples and class discussion.

DNHY 452. Clinical Seminar II. 2 Units.

Topics and issues related to clinical competency and preparation for the clinical board examination. Student development of advanced patient-care plans.

DNHY 453. Clinical Seminar III. 1 Unit.

Topics and issues related to clinical competency. Presentation of advanced patient-care plans.
Prerequisite or concurrent: DNHY 452.

DNHY 475. Dental Hygiene Clinic I. 4 Units.

Integrates all components of oral health care into the clinical treatment of patients.

DNHY 476. Dental Hygiene Clinic II. 4 Units.

Integrates all components of oral health care into the clinical treatment of patients.
Prerequisite or concurrent: DNHY 475.

DNHY 477. Dental Hygiene Clinic III. 4 Units.

Integrates all components of oral health care into the clinical treatment of patients. Prerequisite for concurrent*: DNHY 475, DNHY 476*.

DNHY 495. Dental Hygiene National Board Preparation. 1,2 Unit.

Lecture and case-based reviews of the entire dental hygiene curriculum, including, but not limited to: prerequisite basic sciences; preclinical, laboratory, and clinical sciences; and behavioral sciences. Reviews in preparation for the dental hygiene national board examination directly related to concurrent test-taking skill workshops based on standardized testing evidence for success.

DNHY 497. Advanced Shadowing Experience. 12 Units.

An elective course open to students seeking shadowing experience in dental hygiene. Credits do not count toward an academic degree.