How to Pick the Best Dental Hygiene Training Program near Fort Mohave Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Fort Mohave AZ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including 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 two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let's explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fort Mohave AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Degree Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fort Mohave AZ dental offices are generally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Fort Mohave AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fort Mohave AZ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fort Mohave AZ dental practices frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fort Mohave AZ dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fort Mohave AZ dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Fort Mohave AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fort Mohave AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Fort Mohave AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Fort Mohave Dental Hygienist Courses
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented 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 Fort Mohave Arizona.