How to Select the Best Dental Hygiene Course Near Glendale Arizona
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Glendale AZ is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance the college'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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
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 Education 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 Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Glendale AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glendale 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 looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Glendale AZ employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Glendale AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Glendale AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Glendale AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Glendale AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Glendale Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking 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 Glendale Arizona.