How to Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program Near Anthem Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Anthem AZ is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the program's reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let's look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
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The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Anthem AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Schooling OptionsDue to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Anthem Arizona dental offices are normally 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 nearly 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. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a great 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 anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. 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 lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Anthem AZ employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at 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 as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don't forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, 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 receiving your education and must 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 making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Right Anthem Dental Hygienist Program
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your education 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.