How to Enroll In the Best Dental Hygienist College Near Anthem Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Anthem AZ is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, including the program's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let's review 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 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 Education and LicensingHow to become a dental hygienist depends on completing educational requirements, training and passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Dental hygienists receive their education through academic programs at community colleges, technical colleges, dental schools or universities. The majority of college programs take at least two years to complete, with graduates receiving associate degrees. Receipt of this degree allows a hygienist to take licensure examinations (national and state or regional), become licensed and to work in a dental office. Dental school and university-based dental hygiene programs may offer baccalaureate and master's degrees, which generally require at least two years of further schooling. These additional degrees may be required for a career in teaching and/or research, as well as for clinical practice in school or public health programs. Dental hygienists are licensed by each state to provide dental hygiene care and patient education. Almost all states require that dental hygienists be graduates of Commission on Dental Education-accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure. And, almost all states require candidates for licensure to obtain a passing score on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (a comprehensive written examination) in addition to passing the state-authorized licensure examination.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Anthem AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going 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 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 often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the program you choose provides adequate 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, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Anthem AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Anthem AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Anthem AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Anthem AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Anthem AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Anthem Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 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 choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Anthem Arizona.