How to Find the Right Dental Hygiene Training Program near Holbrook Arizona
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Holbrook AZ is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Holbrook AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting 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 room. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Degree Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Holbrook AZ dental offices are generally 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 component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Holbrook AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community 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 enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Holbrook AZ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Holbrook AZ dental practices frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Holbrook AZ dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Holbrook AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Holbrook AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Holbrook AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Holbrook AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Holbrook Dental Hygienist Training
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course 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 many alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Holbrook Arizona.