How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Wedowee Alabama
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near Wedowee AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, 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 supporting the Wedowee AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Wedowee AL dental practice and can undertake a variety of functions. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering 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 dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Wedowee AL area community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 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 courses. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Wedowee AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for getting your education. 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 provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wedowee AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Wedowee AL area programs you are reviewing in order to make 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 School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Wedowee AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Wedowee 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 a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Wedowee AL program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Wedowee 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wedowee AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Alabama colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wedowee AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Wedowee AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What compelled you to select Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Wedowee AL
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wedowee AL.
A Bit About Wedowee Alabama
Wedowee is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 823, up from 818 in 2000. The small town is the county seat of Randolph County. It was initially incorporated in 1836, but its charter lapsed by the late 19th century. It was reincorporated in 1901.
Randolph County High School is located in Wedowee.
Wedowee, which means "old water" in the Creek language, was named after a Muscogee Creek Indian chief. This area was historically occupied by the Muscogee Creek people.
Following Indian Removal of the Creek in the 1830s to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River by the US government, this area was settled by European Americans. The town of Wedowee was designated as the county seat of Randolph County in 1835. The county was developed for the cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, with labor primarily done by enslaved African Americans, many of whom had been sold to the Deep South from the Upper South in the domestic slave trade.
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