How to Find the Best Dental Hygienist School Near Anthem Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Anthem AZ is an important first 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 far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, 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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer 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 programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
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The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job 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 Anthem AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient's teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training OptionsDue to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Anthem Arizona dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Anthem AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Anthem AZ employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Anthem AZ dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Anthem AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Anthem Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.