How to Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Anthem Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Anthem AZ is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the college's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let's look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Anthem AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient's gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Anthem AZ dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Anthem AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem AZ, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Anthem AZ dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Anthem AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Anthem AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Anthem Dental Hygienist Program
Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.