How to Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near New Kingman Butler AZ is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the program's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let's explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the New Kingman Butler AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in New Kingman Butler AZ dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your New Kingman Butler AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New Kingman Butler AZ, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. New Kingman Butler AZ dental practices typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the program you choose offers 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, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local New Kingman Butler AZ dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are researching 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 New Kingman Butler AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the New Kingman Butler AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public 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 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 related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the New Kingman Butler AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near New Kingman Butler AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in 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 need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Right New Kingman Butler Dental Hygienist Program
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New Kingman Butler Arizona.