How to Find the Best Dental Hygiene Degree Program near Anthem Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Anthem AZ is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the college's reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let's review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Anthem AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Anthem AZ dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Anthem AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem AZ, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Anthem AZ dental practices typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you select 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, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Anthem AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Anthem AZ dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs 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 associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Anthem AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Pick the Best Anthem Dental Hygienist Courses
Picking the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.