How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Glendale Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the school’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 depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating 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
When comparing the duties 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 in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Glendale AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Glendale AZ dental practice and can perform a multitude of functions. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide 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 Glendale AZ area junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the increased 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 require 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 Glendale AZ area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Glendale AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Glendale AZ area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Glendale AZ frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Arizona school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Glendale AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because 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 college 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, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers 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, make sure that the Glendale AZ college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Glendale AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene schools require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Arizona colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, 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 substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks 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 schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Glendale AZ.
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 especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Glendale AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Hygiene prospects is "What made you decide on Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Glendale AZ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Glendale AZ.
A Bit About Glendale Arizona
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located about nine miles (14 km) northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 226,721.
In the late 1800s what is now known as Glendale, Arizona, was all desert. William John Murphy, a native of New Hartford, New York, who resided in the town of Flagstaff in what was then known as the territory of Arizona, was in charge of building a 40-mile-long (64 km) Arizona Canal from Granite Reef to New River for the Arizona Canal Company. In 1885, he completed the canal, which would bring water to the desert land. Murphy was deep in debt, since he had agreed to be paid in Arizona Canal Company stock and bonds and land instead of cash.
In 1887, Murphy formed the Arizona Improvement Company. His objective was to sell the land and water rights south of the canal. Murphy had to raise capital from out of state sources in order to meet payroll and construction expenses. Murphy decided to refer to this land as "Glendale". In order to develop and interest potential investors and settlers in this new town, Murphy decided to provide a better way of access from Phoenix to Glendale and ending in the town of Peoria by building an 18-mile-long (29 km) diagonal road which he named Grand Avenue.
In 1891, Burgess Hadsell worked with Murphy to bring 70 Brethren and River Brethren families to Glendale to form a temperance colony. Soon settlers, attracted by the town's ban on alcoholic beverages, continued to arrive. In 1895, Murphy platted the original town site and amended the plat to include a town park and some business lots. It was bounded by Lamar Road on the south, 55th Avenue on the east, Myrtle Avenue on the north, and 59th Avenue on the west. The construction of a railroad from Prescott to Phoenix was made possible with an exchange of the right-of-way made by Murphy along Grand Avenue. The railroad allowed Glendale settlers to transport goods to the north and easily receive building materials.
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