How to Pick the Best Dental Hygiene School near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Corona De Tucson AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the program'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 two to three years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Corona De Tucson AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing 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 licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Corona De Tucson AZ dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Corona De Tucson AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Corona De Tucson AZ, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges 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 evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Corona De Tucson AZ dental practices often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Corona De Tucson AZ dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real 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 look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Corona De Tucson AZ dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Corona De Tucson AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Corona De Tucson AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Corona De Tucson AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in 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 have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Right Corona De Tucson Dental Hygienist Program
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period 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 normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Corona De Tucson Arizona.