How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Cowarts Alabama
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near Cowarts AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job 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 previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Cowarts AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 in addition to passing any state licensure 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 Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Cowarts AL dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt 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 courses are available at Cowarts AL area community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired 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, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Cowarts AL area vocational 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. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting 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 balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Cowarts AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Cowarts AL area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at 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 best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program 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 Cowarts AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alabama school you choose has 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 work as a hygienist, a large number of Cowarts AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might 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 best college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 Cowarts AL program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Cowarts 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 Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools require help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Cowarts AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Alabama colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Cowarts AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Cowarts AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What made you choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Cowarts AL
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several 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 usually 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 elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cowarts AL.
A Bit About Cowarts Alabama
Cowarts is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. The town incorporated in August 1961. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 1,871, up from 1,546 in 2000.
Cowarts is located in north-central Houston County at 31°11′58″N 85°18′23″W / 31.19944°N 85.30639°W / 31.19944; -85.30639 (31.199575, -85.306272). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of Dothan and to the southeast by the town of Avon. A small part of the northern border of Cowarts is with the town of Webb.
U.S. Route 84 passes through the southern part of the town, leading west 6 miles (10 km) to the center of Dothan and southeast 48 miles (77 km) to Bainbridge, Georgia.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cowarts has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.9 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (18.8 km2) are land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.58%, are water.
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