How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Holbrook Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Holbrook AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role 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 supporting the Holbrook AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Holbrook AZ dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their primary job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most 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 courses are offered at Holbrook AZ area junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Holbrook AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Holbrook AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Holbrook AZ area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Holbrook AZ typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Arizona school you select offers 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. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Holbrook AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and 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 just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Holbrook AZ college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Holbrook 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Holbrook AZ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Arizona programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Holbrook AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Holbrook AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What drove you to pick Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Holbrook AZ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Holbrook AZ.
A Bit About Holbrook Arizona
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
Holbrook was founded in 1881 or 1882, when the railroad was built, and named to honor the first chief engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs for a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon after a store and saloon was established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
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