How to Select the Right Dental Hygienist Course Near Trussville Alabama
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Trussville AL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program 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. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let's explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
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The Job of Dental Hygienists
A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who is responsible for preventing and treating oral diseases. Dental hygienists perform much of their work independently, with only general supervision from a licensed dentist. Dental hygienists are an important part of dentist-led teams. Their work removes a considerable burden from the dentist, freeing up the dentist to perform more advanced procedures. Therefore, it is quite common for dental hygienists to perform many of the preventive dental procedures in an office, such as teeth cleaning, examining patients for oral diseases and other preventative dental care. Hygienists will scrape the tartar and plaque off of your teeth and polish them. Hygienists also usually take X-rays of your teeth and gums, give patients a fluoride rinse, and apply sealants to the teeth to ward off cavities. A hygienist will also review ways to care for your teeth and overall health at home, offering tips on ways to brush and floss, and on what foods to avoid or to eat for a healthy mouth.
Dental Hygienist Education and LicensingHow do you become a dental hygienist? First, prospective dental hygienist students must receive a degree through an accredited academic program at a community college, technical college, dental school, or university. The majority of college programs take at least two years to complete. Upon earning this associate degree, a prospective hygienist may take licensure examinations to become licensed and work in a dental office. University-based dental hygiene programs offer baccalaureate and master’s degrees, which typically require at least two years of further schooling. Individuals looking to eventually pursue a career in teaching and/or research often seek these degrees. Almost all states require dental hygienists to be graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure. However, graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program is only part of the process. Almost all states require candidates for licensure to pass a state-authorized licensure examination and obtain a passing score on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination before becoming certified as a dental hygienist. The state or regional examination is structured to test candidates’ clinical dental hygiene skills and other necessary dental topics.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Trussville AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Trussville Alabama, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College 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 almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Trussville AL employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Trussville AL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Trussville AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 Trussville AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Trussville AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Trussville AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Trussville AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Trussville Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Trussville Alabama.