How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Rainsville Alabama
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Rainsville AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. 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 prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Rainsville AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Rainsville AL dental practice and can undertake a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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 and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Rainsville AL area community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Rainsville AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Rainsville AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. 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 necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
After you have decided on 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 discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Rainsville AL area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided 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 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 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 establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Rainsville AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Rainsville AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Rainsville AL college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment 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 means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Rainsville AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene schools require assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Rainsville AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Alabama colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Rainsville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Rainsville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Hygienist candidates is "What compelled you to pick Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Rainsville AL
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend 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 in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Rainsville AL.
A Bit About Rainsville Alabama
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
Rainsville was incorporated in October 1956.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
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