How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Goodyear Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist training near Goodyear AZ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably 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 supporting the Goodyear AZ practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report 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 about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When 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 a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Goodyear AZ dental practice and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Goodyear AZ area community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 Goodyear AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Goodyear AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Goodyear AZ area schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Goodyear AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Arizona college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Goodyear AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Goodyear AZ school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Goodyear AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Goodyear AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Arizona colleges you are evaluating 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 instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Goodyear AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Goodyear AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol 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 job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What made you decide on Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Hygiene, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous 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 work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Goodyear AZ
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Goodyear AZ.
A Bit About Goodyear Arizona
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and is in the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 65,275. Goodyear was the third fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size between 1990 and 2000 (with an increase of 245.2%). The July 1, 2015, MAG population estimate was 79,003.
The city is home to the Goodyear Ballpark, where the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds of the MLB practice their spring training.
On June 6, 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
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