How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Addison Alabama
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near Addison AL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving 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 generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main 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 Addison AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out 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
- Teaching 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Addison AL dental practice and can carry out a variety of duties. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose 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 offered at Addison AL area community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to have 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Addison AL area community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Addison AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama 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. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Addison AL area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Addison AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama 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. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Addison AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Addison AL 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 schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Addison AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene programs require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing 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 Addison AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Alabama programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Addison AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Addison AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, 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 prepping to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What drove you to pick Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Addison AL
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Addison AL.
A Bit About Addison Alabama
Addison is a town in Winston County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in December 1949. At the 2010 U.S. Census, it had a population of 758, up from 723 in 2000.
Addison is located at 34°12′0″N 87°10′40″W / 34.20000°N 87.17778°W / 34.20000; -87.17778 (34.200042, -87.177851).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), all land.
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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