How to Enroll In the Best Dental Hygienist College Near Glendale Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Glendale 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 much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
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The Job of a Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who is responsible for preventing and treating oral diseases. Dental hygienists perform much of their work independently, with only general supervision from a licensed dentist. Dental hygienists are an important part of dentist-led teams. Their work removes a considerable burden from the dentist, freeing up the dentist to perform more advanced procedures. Therefore, it is quite common for dental hygienists to perform many of the preventive dental procedures in an office, such as teeth cleaning, examining patients for oral diseases and other preventative dental care. Hygienists will scrape the tartar and plaque off of your teeth and polish them. Hygienists also usually take X-rays of your teeth and gums, give patients a fluoride rinse, and apply sealants to the teeth to ward off cavities. A hygienist will also review ways to care for your teeth and overall health at home, offering tips on ways to brush and floss, and on what foods to avoid or to eat for a healthy mouth.
Dental Hygienist Schooling and LicensingHow do you become a dental hygienist? First, prospective dental hygienist students must receive a degree through an accredited academic program at a community college, technical college, dental school, or university. The majority of college programs take at least two years to complete. Upon earning this associate degree, a prospective hygienist may take licensure examinations to become licensed and work in a dental office. University-based dental hygiene programs offer baccalaureate and master’s degrees, which typically require at least two years of further schooling. Individuals looking to eventually pursue a career in teaching and/or research often seek these degrees. Almost all states require dental hygienists to be graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure. However, graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program is only part of the process. Almost all states require candidates for licensure to pass a state-authorized licensure examination and obtain a passing score on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination before becoming certified as a dental hygienist. The state or regional examination is structured to test candidates’ clinical dental hygiene skills and other necessary dental topics.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Glendale AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order 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 receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Glendale AZ employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Glendale AZ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Glendale AZ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Glendale AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Glendale AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Glendale AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Glendale Dental Hygienist School
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to acquire your education 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona.