How to Pick the Right Dental Hygiene Training Program near Green Valley Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Green Valley AZ is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance the college's reputation and accreditation. 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let's review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Green Valley AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient's teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Green Valley AZ dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Green Valley AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Green Valley AZ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Green Valley AZ dental practices frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Green Valley AZ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Green Valley AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Green Valley AZ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Green Valley AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don't forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Green Valley AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have 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 emergencies.
Pick the Right Green Valley Dental Hygienist Training
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering 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 best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Green Valley Arizona.