Dental Hygiene Degree Schools near Palmer AK 99645

How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Palmer Alaska

Palmer AK dental hygienist cleaning patient's teethPicking the right dental hygienist college near Palmer AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally 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 complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Palmer AK dental hygienist assisting dentistWhen comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Palmer AK practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

The Duties of a Dental Assistant

training as a dental hygienist in Palmer AKDental assistants are an integral part of any Palmer AK dental office and can perform a variety of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose 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 Palmer AK area community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Palmer AK area community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Hygienist Schools

attending dental hygienist school online in Palmer AKEnrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Palmer AK home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.

Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges

After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Palmer AK area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied 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 many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Palmer AK typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alaska schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alaska college you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Palmer AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Palmer AK school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Palmer AK dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene schools require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Palmer AK dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Alaska programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.

What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Palmer AK.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Palmer AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Hygienist?

When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Hygiene prospects is "What made you choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.

Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Palmer AK

Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Palmer AK.

A Bit About Palmer Alaska

Palmer, Alaska

Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.

The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They moved throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after Palmer.[4]

In the late 19th century, the U.S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904. The advent of World War I created a need for high quality coal to fuel U.S. battleships, and by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers, miners and homesteaders began to populate the area. The Palmer Post Office was opened July 6, 1917 under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley.

In one year, Palmer transformed from a mere whistle stop rail siding to a planned community with modern utilities and community services. Eleven million dollars from Federal Emergency Relief Administration was spent to create the town of Palmer and relocate 203 families from the hard hit Iron Range region of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Families traveled by train and ship to Palmer, arriving in May 1935. Upon their arrival they were housed in a tent city during their first Alaskan summer. Each family drew lots for 40-acre (160,000 m2) tracts and their farming adventure began in earnest. The failure rate was high, but many of their descendants still live in the area and there are still many operating farms in the Palmer area, including the Vanderwheele and Wolverine farms. In 1971, the National Outdoor Leadership School started operating wilderness education courses in the nearby Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges from a local historic farmhouse, the Berry House, which is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

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