How to Enroll In the Best Dental Hygienist School Near Bullhead City Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Bullhead City AZ is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the college's accreditation and reputation. 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 expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools 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 Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing 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 Bullhead City AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training OptionsDue to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Bullhead City Arizona dental practices are normally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may 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 available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Bullhead City AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Bullhead City Arizona, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Bullhead City AZ employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Bullhead City AZ dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get hands-on, practical 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 create professional relationships in the Bullhead City AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Bullhead City AZ dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Bullhead City AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs 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 along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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 schools, don't forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Bullhead City AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Bullhead City AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Bullhead City Dental Hygienist School
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Bullhead City Arizona.