How to Select the Best Dental Hygiene Training Program near Chino Valley Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Chino Valley AZ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the school's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let's look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Chino Valley AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Degree Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Chino Valley AZ dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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 dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Chino Valley AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Chino Valley AZ, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Chino Valley AZ dental practices often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Chino Valley AZ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive 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 create professional relationships in the Chino Valley AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Chino Valley AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Chino Valley AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Chino Valley AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Chino Valley AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Chino Valley Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Chino Valley Arizona.