How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Adger Alabama
Picking the ideal dental hygienist training near Adger AL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Adger AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding 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 licensing examinations. After 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 essential part of any Adger AL dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Adger AL area community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 Adger AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Adger AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate 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 right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
After you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Adger AL area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Adger AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Alabama school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Adger AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Adger AL school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Adger AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Adger AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer 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 tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense 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 schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Adger AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must 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 need to go to classes near your Adger AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What made you choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Adger AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Adger AL.
A Bit About Adger Alabama
Adger is an unincorporated crossroads community in Jefferson County, Alabama, southwest of Birmingham.
Adger has a post office, two grocery stores, and several churches. Local businesses include construction, roofing, plumbing, hauling, and heavy equipment operation.
The community is served by a volunteer fire department as well as a Neighborhood Watch office, which doubles as a working office for Jefferson County sheriff's deputies who patrol the area. It is governed by the Jefferson County Commission and the various departments and facets of the County Government.
The town is named for Andrew M. Adger, originally of Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Adger moved to Bessemer, Alabama, when he became an investor in and secretary-treasurer of the Bessemer Land & Improvement Company. He also was an operating officer of the Debardeleben Coal & Iron Company. Adger is a rural community that arose in the late 1880s during development of Debardeleben's Adger, Johns, and Belle Sumter mines in the Blue Creek Coal Basin. The mines were operating at their peak in the early Twentieth Century. The Black Diamond Mine also operated in the Adger community along Blue Creek road where the mine's Hoist Tipple and Portal were located about 100 yards west of the Old Blue Creek Baptist Church. Since the closing of the mines the community has seen both periodic growth and decline. Currently ( March 2013 ) the Adger, Johns, Sumter and Black Diamond Coal mine sites are being strip mined by Durmmond Coal's Twin Pines Mining Company and only a few concrete foundations remain, hidden in the thick privet growth, that hint back to the original mining interest.
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