How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Cottondale Alabama
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Cottondale AL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Cottondale AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may 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
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Cottondale AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Cottondale AL area junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Cottondale AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Cottondale AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Cottondale AL area colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Cottondale AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Cottondale AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in 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 Cottondale AL program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Cottondale AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Cottondale AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Alabama schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Cottondale AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Cottondale AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Hygiene prospects is "What made you select Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Cottondale AL
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cottondale AL.
A Bit About Cottondale Alabama
Richard Price Rummonds
Richard Price Rummonds (also known as Richard-Gabriel Price Rummonds), one of the foremost handpress printers of the late twentieth century, is also an author, publisher, typographer, and historian of printing. His two books on nineteenth-century printing, Printing on the Iron Handpress and Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, comprehensively describe the history, operation and merits of the iron handpress.
Born on April 26, 1931, in Long Beach, California, Rummonds was raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Syracuse University in 1949–1950, in the School of Fine Arts, with the intention of majoring in set and costume design and the University of California at Berkeley intermittently between 1950 and 1954, where he majored in English and Creative Writing. During this period he was on the staff of Occident, the student literary magazine, of which he became the editor for the Spring 1954 issue.
Rummonds began printing in Quito, Ecuador in 1966, using the Plain Wrapper Press imprint. His first book was a selection of his own poems. The following year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he printed a book of his short stories.
At a lecture in New York in November 1968, given by the Veronese printer Giovanni Mardersteig operator of the private press Officina Bodoni, Rummonds met Mardersteig’s son, Martino, who introduced Rummonds to the iron handpress. From 1969 on Rummonds printed all of his books on iron handpresses. The following year Rummonds moved his publishing venture and printing equipment to Verona, Italy, where he remained until 1982. Alessandro Zanella joined Rummonds at the Plain Wrapper Press in 1976, eventually becoming a partner in 1978.
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