How to Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Course Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Fountain Hills AZ is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the school'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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let's look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Dental Hygienist Career Below
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Fountain Hills AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Schooling OptionsDue to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fountain Hills Arizona dental offices are generally 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 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 aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Fountain Hills AZ home or anywhere else 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 rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fountain Hills Arizona, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fountain Hills AZ employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Fountain Hills AZ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, clinical 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fountain Hills AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Fountain Hills AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Fountain Hills AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Fountain Hills Dental Hygienist School
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you intend 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 offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fountain Hills Arizona.