How to Enroll In the Best Dental Hygiene Program Near Buckeye Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Buckeye AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the school'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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Dental Hygienist Career Below
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Buckeye AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education OptionsAs a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Buckeye Arizona dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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 clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Buckeye AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community 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 dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Buckeye Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Buckeye AZ employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Buckeye AZ dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Buckeye AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Buckeye AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Buckeye AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don't forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Buckeye AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Buckeye AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Buckeye Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Buckeye Arizona.