How to Enroll In the Best Dental Hygienist Training Program near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Fortuna Foothills AZ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, for instance the school's reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let's look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fortuna Foothills AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient's teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fortuna Foothills AZ dental offices are often 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 almost 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 component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fortuna Foothills AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened 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 obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fortuna Foothills AZ, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fortuna Foothills AZ dental practices often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fortuna Foothills AZ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical 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 are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fortuna Foothills AZ dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Fortuna Foothills AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration 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 come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fortuna Foothills 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 suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Fortuna Foothills AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Right Fortuna Foothills Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.