How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Fairhope Alabama
Selecting the right dental hygienist training near Fairhope AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Fairhope AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Fairhope AL dental practice and can perform a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Fairhope AL area community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Fairhope AL area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Fairhope AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Fairhope AL area colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Fairhope AL typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Fairhope AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Fairhope AL college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Fairhope AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fairhope AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost 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 variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Fairhope AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Fairhope AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What compelled you to pick Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Fairhope AL
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fairhope AL.
A Bit About Fairhope Alabama
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
"Fairhope Avenue" was one of the properties on the 1910 version of the board game The Landlord's Game, a precursor of Monopoly.
More Alabama Cities of Interest
Business Results 1 - 5 of 9
Fairhope AL Dentists - BingNews Search results
Local dentist captures pictures of large waterspout from his home
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Local dentist Nick Southall would normally be working on patients on a Tuesday morning. But because of the self-quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic ...
WATCH: Dust Storm in Baldwin County ahead of rain
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) -- Local dentist Nick Southall would normally be working on patients on a Tuesday morning. But because of the self-quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic ...
‘A matter of life and death:’ Jefferson County police to enforce Alabama’s strictest coronavirus orders
After 5 p.m. today, all Jefferson County non-essential retail stores are mandated to shut down to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the most sweeping of any such regulation in any Alabama county.
167 coronavirus cases in Alabama: County-by-county numbers
The number of coronavirus cases in Alabama continues to grow as testing ... Only take-out or curbside pickup is permitted. Elective dental procedures are postponed. Violators face fines of up ...
Atlantic Broadband Announces 4G Backup Service for Business Internet Customers
Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, today announced the availability of 4G LTE backup service for its business internet customers. Supported by Altaworx, which ...
Pilgrims turn to prayer, kinship during coronavirus scare
JERUSALEM (AP) — A group of Christian pilgrims from Alabama is turning to prayer and ... Chris Bell, the lead pastor at the 3Circle Church in Fairhope, Ala., said his 13-member group arrived ...
Dr. Arielle Spivey
U.S. News provides information on each dentist's specialty, patient experience, and location to help you find the best dentist for you. Dr. Arielle Spivey is a dentist in Fairhope, Alabama.
Orthodontists in Fairhope, AL
Browse dentist profiles on U.S. News based on specialty to find the best dentist for you in your area. Orthodontists are dental professionals who specialize in treating malformed teeth and jaw ...
Changing the World with a Checkup
“How can you tell whether a tooth needs filling immediately or not?” says UAB alumna Kaye Shaw, D.M.D., who practices family dentistry in the town of Fairhope on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. “The research ...
After School Child Care Jobs in Fairhope
Minor errands, dentist appts, etc may occur. If you are interested, please reply. Tonya Hello! Single mom here looking for help for 1 child in Fairhope with After school ... Point Clear, AL Adults: ...
Fairhope In Home Child Care Jobs
Find 2 opportunities in Fairhope, AL. A new job is posted every minute on Care.com - don't miss out! I am returning to work full time. We are looking for someone who will watch our 3 and 2-year-old in ...