How to Find the Best Dental Hygienist Training Program Near Chandler Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the program'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 complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
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The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Chandler AZ practice and the dentists. 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 every patient's teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training OptionsDue to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Chandler Arizona dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Chandler AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Chandler Arizona, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Chandler AZ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Chandler AZ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Chandler AZ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Chandler AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Chandler AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Chandler AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Chandler Dental Hygienist Program
Picking the right dental hygienist course is important 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 several options available to acquire your education 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 community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Chandler Arizona.