Dental Hygiene Degree Schools near Robertsdale AL 36567

How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Robertsdale Alabama

Robertsdale AL dental hygienist cleaning patient's teethSelecting the right dental hygienist program near Robertsdale AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial 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 have to invest. The most typical 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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs 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 offered.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Robertsdale AL dental hygienist assisting dentistWhen comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Robertsdale AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Teaching patients regarding 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 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. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

The Duties of a Dental Assistant

training as a dental hygienist in Robertsdale ALDental assistants are an integral component of any Robertsdale AL dental practice and can perform a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are available at Robertsdale AL area junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Robertsdale AL area community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Hygienist Schools

attending dental hygienist school online in Robertsdale ALChoosing an online dental hygienist school can be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Robertsdale AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.

Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs

Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Robertsdale AL area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Robertsdale AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.

Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Robertsdale AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides 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, make sure that the Robertsdale AL program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.

Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Robertsdale AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs 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 Robertsdale AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Alabama programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Robertsdale AL.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Robertsdale AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Hygienist?

When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Dental Hygienist applicants is "What compelled you to choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.

Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Robertsdale AL

Selecting the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically 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 choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Robertsdale AL.

A Bit About Robertsdale Alabama

Robertsdale, Alabama

Robertsdale is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,276.[3] It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Robertsdale is located in southern Baldwin County at 30°33'16.034" North, 87°42'20.038" West (30.554454, -87.705566).[4]U.S. Route 90 (Old Spanish Trail) passes through the city, leading west 24 miles (39 km) to Mobile and east 35 miles (56 km) to Pensacola, Florida.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.2 km2), of which 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.24%, is water.[3]

As of the census[7] of 2010, there were 5,276 people, 1,951 households, and 1,392 families residing in the city. The population density was 968 people per square mile (373.6/km²). There were 1,573 housing units at an average density of 357.3 per square mile (137.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% White, 5.4% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 6.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 9.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

 

 

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