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We are proud to represent California's dental hygiene profession and to comprise the state's leading network of professionals committed to the highest standards of oral health.

Our promise is to provide the most current tools and resources to help hygienists all across California achieve personal success in the local communities they serve.

Engaging with CDHA can help you advance your skills, knowledge, and career.


Darla Dale

Darla Dale, BSDH, RDHAP


Darla received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Southern California in 1985 and her RDHAP Certification from University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in 2004. Darla owns her own dental hygiene practice in Eureka, California, primarily treating patients with developmental disabilities. She has been on staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital since 1996 where she coordinates a hospital-based dentistry program for special needs adults and children. Darla has been an active member of CDHA for over 28 years.

Heidi Coggan

Heidi Coggan, RDHAP, BS


Heidi has been a practicing dental hygienist since 1997. She moved to California in 2003 and met her husband on the first day of her first job in the state. She currently works in private practice and as an adjunct faculty member at Southwestern College. She is also a practicing RDHAP and has her own business, Hygiene in Motion. Heidi has held several positions in her local San Diego component, as well as at the state level, and has volunteered in many capacities.

Beth Wilson

Beth Wilson, RDH, BS

Immediate Past President

Beth has been a practicing dental hygienist since graduating from Cerritos College in 2007. She also received a Bachelor of Science in Oral Health Promotion from and O’Hehir University in 2014. Over the last decade, Beth has held various leadership positions with CDHA. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family going to concerts, movies, and amusement parks, and giving attention to her parrot, Izze.



Melissa Massetti, RDH


Melissa has served multiple positions within her local CDHA component and credits her involvement with CDHA for much of her success in her career. She is a proud native of Clovis, California and received her Dental Hygiene Degree from Fresno City College, graduating with highest honors in 2012. Dental hygiene is her passion so she recently completed the RDHAP program at University of the Pacific and is currently awaiting for her licensure. When she isn’t working she loves being happily married to her husband and a mom to her two young children.

Helen Smart, RDH, BS

VP of Membership & Professional Development

Helen began her second career as a dental hygienist in 1998. Previously, she worked in Hospital Food and Nutrition Department after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from the University of California, Davis. Since obtaining her RDH, she has worked exclusively in private practice and has been active with her local component. She grew up in San Gabriel Valley, Southern California, and met her husband Steve while at UC Davis. They share two grown children, Ryan and Valorie.

Michael LaFlamme, RDH, BA

VP of Administration & Public Relations

Michael began his dental career as an Air Force Dental Assistant and Hygienist. After a career in broadcast television, he returned to school to obtain his RDH license. His passion is public health, and he regularly organizes and attends clinics to treat the underserved. He is employed at the Native American Health Center in San Francisco and in a private orthodontics practice. He is also a clinical instructor for the dental hygiene program at the University of the Pacific.



As a longtime member and now President of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA), I can attest to the many benefits CDHA provides its members. From continuing education to policy change, from peer networking to promoting scientific and technological breakthroughs, and from elevating our unique role in the broader healthcare ecosystem to helping members navigate their careers, CDHA offers members immeasurable advantages. 

I’m living proof of that promise and invite you to discover how membership can directly benefit you and your career aspirations.

11 years into my career, I attended a continuing education course that changed my dental hygiene professional life forever. The course focused on treating developmentally delayed adults and children with the use of a dental coordinator whose role is to advocate, collaborate, and treat these special patients in an appropriate dental setting. That experience launched my career as one of California’s first-ever dental coordinators. A new commitment to serving the needs of this unique community started for me that day, and my career has grown exponentially more rewarding ever since. 

It’s because CDHA fought for the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice Profession that I had the opportunity to become an RDHAP and to pursue my passion for access to care. As President of CDHA today, I am inspired by other dental hygienists who reach for new heights, and who are committed to strive for what they love and love what they do.

Your career journey may unfold differently than mine, but what’s certain is that yours will be better and more rewarding with CDHA by your side. As the state’s leading industry association, CDHA is there with you every step of the way and, together, we can deliver the oral health care that all those in our communities need and deserve. 

Please join me and CDHA in our mission to advance the art and science of dental hygiene.



Darla Dale, BSDH, RDHAP

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