How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Brewton Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist training near Brewton AL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months 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 complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Brewton AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first 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 may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 integral component of any Brewton AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of duties. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming 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
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Brewton AL area junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 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 classes. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Brewton AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Brewton AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Brewton AL area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending 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 school 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 Brewton AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Alabama school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Brewton AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as 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 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 ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide 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 type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Brewton AL school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Brewton AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Brewton AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Alabama programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can 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 based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Brewton AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Brewton AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask Dental Hygiene prospects is "What made you choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Hygiene, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches 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 variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near Brewton AL
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education 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 about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning 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 better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Brewton AL.
A Bit About Brewton Alabama
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle. Brewton has been voted one of the 100 best small towns in America.
In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.
During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber opened the way for creation of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to the Gulf.
Brewton became a town on February 13, 1885 and later became the seat of Escambia County, Alabama.
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