How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist training near Tempe AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Tempe AZ practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Tempe AZ dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Tempe AZ area community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Tempe AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Tempe AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Tempe AZ area schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Tempe AZ typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Arizona college you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Tempe AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Tempe AZ college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Tempe AZ dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Tempe AZ dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Arizona programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Tempe AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Tempe AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What compelled you to choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Hygiene, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Tempe AZ
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Tempe AZ.
A Bit About Tempe Arizona
Tempe (/tɛmˈpiː/ TEM'-pee;Oidbaḍ in Pima), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
The Hohokam lived in this area and built canals to support their agriculture. They abandoned their settlements during the 15th century, with a few individuals and families remaining nearby.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
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