How to Select the Best Dental Hygiene College Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Knik Fairview AK is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest 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 college's reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Dental Hygienist Career Below
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Knik Fairview AK practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education OptionsDue to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Knik Fairview Alaska dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely 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 Knik Fairview AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental office 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 dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Knik Fairview Alaska, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs 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 evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Knik Fairview AK employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Knik Fairview AK dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Knik Fairview AK dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Knik Fairview AK dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Knik Fairview AK dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Knik Fairview AK area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Knik Fairview AK in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Right Knik Fairview Dental Hygienist School
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Knik Fairview Alaska.