How to Enroll In the Right Dental Hygiene Training Program Near Anthem Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Anthem AZ is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Dental Hygienist Career Below
The Job of Dental Hygienists
A dental hygienist cleans teeth, examines patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provides other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Almost all Anthem Arizona dental hygienists work in dental offices and work closely with dentists and dental assistants. A dental hygienist uses many types of tools to do their job. They clean and polish teeth with both hand and powered tools, as well as ultrasonic devices. In some cases, hygienists remove stains with an air polishing device, which sprays a combination of air, water, and baking soda. They polish teeth with a powered tool that works like an automatic toothbrush, and use x-ray machines to take pictures to check for tooth or jaw problems. Some other tasks of a dental hygienist include:
- Removing tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth
- Applying sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth
- Taking and developing dental x-rays
- Keeping track of patient care and treatment plans
- Teaching patients oral hygiene, such as how to brush and floss correctly
Dental hygienists help patients develop and keep good oral health. They may explain the relationship between diet and oral health. They also may give advice to patients on how to select toothbrushes and other oral-care devices.
Dental Hygienist Schooling and LicensingDental hygienists typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in dental hygiene also are available, but are less common. A bachelor's or master's degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs. Dental hygiene programs are commonly found in community colleges, technical schools, and universities. In 2017, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, part of the American Dental Association, accredited more than 300 dental hygiene programs. Programs typically take 2 to 3 years to complete, and offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction. Areas of study include physiology, nutrition, radiography, pathology, medical ethics, anatomy, patient management, and periodontics, which is the study of gum disease. Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. In most states, a degree from an accredited dental hygiene program and passing grades on written and clinical examinations are required for licensure. To maintain licensure, hygienists must complete continuing education requirements. For specific requirements, contact your state's Board of Dental Examiners.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Anthem AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, 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. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Anthem AZ employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Anthem AZ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Anthem AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Anthem Dental Hygienist Training
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam 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 fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.