How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Hodges Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist training near Hodges AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover 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 review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Hodges AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters 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 duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Hodges AL dental office and can undertake a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Hodges AL area community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Hodges AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Hodges AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Hodges AL area schools you are reviewing in order to make 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 college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Hodges AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Alabama school you select has 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 have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Hodges AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Hodges AL program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Hodges AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hodges AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Alabama colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 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 comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Hodges AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Hodges AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What made you select Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Hodges AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available 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 programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented 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 Hodges AL.
A Bit About Hodges Alabama
Hodges is a town in Franklin County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 288. Hodges was laid out in 1902. It was incorporated in 1913.
Hodges is located in southern Franklin County at 34°19′49″N 87°55′39″W / 34.33028°N 87.92750°W / 34.33028; -87.92750 (34.330242, -87.927394). The southern border of the town follows the Marion County line. Alabama State Route 172 passes through the town, leading northwest 9 miles (14 km) to Vina and southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Hackleburg. Alabama State Route 187 leads northeast from the center of Hodges 13 miles (21 km) to Belgreen.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.15%, is water. The town sits on the Tennessee Valley Divide, with the east side draining to Bear Creek, a north-flowing tributary of the Tennessee River, and the west side draining via Skirum Branch to Bull Mountain Creek, a west-flowing tributary of the Tombigbee River. 2 miles (3 km) north of Hodges is Rock Bridge Canyon Park, on bluffs overlooking Bear Creek.
As of the census of 2000, there were 261 people, 98 households, and 78 families residing in the town. The population density was 84.2 people per square mile (32.5/km²). There were 118 housing units at an average density of 38.1 per square mile (14.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 100.00% White.
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