How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Virgin Utah
Picking the right dental hygienist training near Virgin UT is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When 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 earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Virgin UT practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once 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
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Virgin UT dental office and can perform a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Utah dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect 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 provided at Virgin UT area community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 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 assisting courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Virgin UT area trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option 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 remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Virgin UT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Utah schools and programs. 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 colleges. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Virgin UT area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Virgin UT often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited Utah programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Utah school 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. In order to work as a hygienist, most Virgin UT dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Virgin UT program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Virgin UT 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 too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Virgin UT dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Utah colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Virgin UT.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Virgin UT home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Virgin UT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Virgin UT.
A Bit About Virgin Utah
Virgin is a town in Washington County, Utah, United States. The population was 596 at the 2010 census. It is located along the Virgin River (for which it is named), and not far from Zion National Park. The elevation is 3,606 feet (1,099 m). It lies on the route of State Route 9.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.9 square miles (30.9 km²), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 596 people, 202 households, and 139 families residing in the town. The population density was 50.1 people per square mile (19.3/km²). There were 243 housing units at an average density of 20.4 per square mile (7.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.8% White, 2.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population.
There were 202 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.14.
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