How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Butler Alabama
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Butler AL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Butler AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Butler AL dental office and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Butler AL area community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Butler AL area trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might 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 rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Butler AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Butler AL area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Butler AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama school you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Butler AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep 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 college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could 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 ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Butler AL college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Butler AL 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 Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Butler AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Alabama programs you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out 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 students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Butler AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Butler AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Butler AL
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire 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 generally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Butler AL.
A Bit About Butler Alabama
Butler is a town in and the county seat of Choctaw County, Alabama, United States. The population was 1,894 at the 2010 census.
When Choctaw County was formed in 1847, Butler was created as the county seat. The town was located and settled in 1848. It is named in honor of Colonel Pierce Butler, a soldier killed in the Mexican–American War.
Butler is located in north-central Choctaw County at 32°5′29″N 88°13′14.46″W / 32.09139°N 88.2206833°W / 32.09139; -88.2206833 (32.091526, −88.220684).
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