How to Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Page Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Page AZ is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the college's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function 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 independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Page AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient's gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Degree Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Page AZ dental practices are normally required to have 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 aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Page AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Page AZ, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Page AZ dental practices typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Page AZ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Page AZ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Page AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Page AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Page AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Best Page Dental Hygienist Program
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Page Arizona.