How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Buckeye Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Buckeye AZ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs 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 Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Buckeye AZ practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Buckeye AZ dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Buckeye AZ area community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Buckeye AZ area community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Buckeye AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Buckeye AZ area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Buckeye AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited Arizona programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Arizona school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Buckeye AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may 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 school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides sufficient 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, confirm that the Buckeye AZ college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Buckeye AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Buckeye AZ dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Arizona schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Buckeye AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Buckeye AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What made you decide on Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Hygiene, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Buckeye AZ
Picking the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount 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 typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Buckeye AZ.
A Bit About Buckeye Arizona
Buckeye is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona and is the westernmost suburb in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The population was 62,582 in 2015. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US; in 2016, it placed seventh.
Early settler Malin M. Jackson developed 10 miles (16 km) of the Buckeye Canal from 1884 to 1886, which he named after his home state of Ohio's moniker, "The Buckeye State". The town was founded in 1888 and originally named "Sidney," after Jackson's home town in Ohio. However, because of the significance of the canal, the town became known as Buckeye. The name was legally changed to Buckeye in 1910. The town was incorporated in 1929, at which time it included 440 acres (180 ha). The town's first mayor was Hugh M. Watson (1956–1958), who founded the Buckeye Valley Bank. Today, Watson Road is the site of the city's commercial center.
In 2008, Buckeye was featured on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as part of a week-long series entitled "Blueprint America."
In 2013, a video featuring a Verrado High School student who overcame Down's Syndrome to join the school's cheerleading squad, and using the Katy Perry song "Roar", was selected as a finalist in a Good Morning America contest.
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