How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Laveen Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist training near Laveen AZ is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’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 money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, 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 factors and additional questions that you should be asking the schools you are assessing 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 Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Laveen AZ practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying 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 graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Laveen AZ dental practice and can perform a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Laveen AZ area junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Laveen AZ 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 also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Laveen AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Laveen AZ area colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. 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 guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Laveen AZ frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Arizona 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 Arizona school you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, most Laveen AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the right college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices 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 ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Laveen AZ program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Laveen AZ dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Laveen AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Arizona schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Laveen AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Laveen AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What made you pick Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist College near Laveen AZ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important 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 acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Laveen AZ.
A Bit About Laveen Arizona
Laveen /ləˈviːn/ is an "urban village" within the city of Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, situated eight miles (13 km) southwest of Downtown Phoenix between South Mountain and the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers. Parts of Laveen constitute an unincorporated community in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of Phoenix, constituting the city's "Laveen Village". Laveen Village is split between District 7 and District 8, both notable as minority-majority districts for the city. Although Laveen has been home to "pastoral alfalfa, cotton, and dairy farms" since the 1880s, housing and commercial developments have been increasingly urbanizing the area.
The Laveen area was first settled by farmers and dairymen in 1884. Despite its proximity to Phoenix, the community was isolated from its larger neighbor by the Salt River, which until the Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911 carried water year-round. The only bridged crossing was at Central Avenue, more than six miles (10 km) away. Because of its isolation, like the rest of south Phoenix early Laveen was autonomous of Phoenix and became relatively self-sufficient, supporting two general stores, a barbershop, repair garage, two pool halls, and a building for the Laveen Women's Club. These businesses served as important gathering places for the greater Laveen community, which includes modern south Phoenix and the neighboring Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)
In the early 1900s, Walter E. Laveen and his family homesteaded an area encompassing all four corners of present-day 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road, where they also built the area's first general store—the Laveen Store—on the southeast corner. Members of the Laveen family donated land adjacent to their store for a school, which was built in 1913 and named Laveen School. A second general store, the Del Monte Market, was built in 1908 at 27th Avenue and Dobbins Road and is considered the oldest still standing building in Laveen.
In 1915, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation noted the community was called Laveen and had a population of less than 25. In March 1918, Walter Laveen was appointed the area's first postmaster, operating the post office in the back of his store. Laveen later served as Sheriff in Pinal County, Arizona.
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