How to Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Training Program Near Glendale Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Glendale AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the program's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
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The Job of a Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists provide preventative oral care under a dentist's supervision. They clean patients' teeth and examine their mouths for signs of damage, gingivitis, and other diseases. Hygienists teach patients how to maintain good oral health. They also schedule appointments and keep records and may take and develop X-rays. Their scope of practice, which is the list of services they are legally allowed to deliver, differs according to the regulations of the state in which they practice. Dental hygienists generally are required to perform duties that include the following:
- Complete a preliminary exam on each new dental service patient
- Clean and remove stains, plaque, and tartar from teeth
- Apply fluorides and sealants for tooth protection
- Take dental x-rays and develop them
- Administer local anesthetics to patients
- Document treatment plans and care performed on patients
- Examine each patient's oral health and communicate findings to dentists
- Educate patients on how to care for their teeth with good oral hygiene, including proper brushing and flossing
Dental Hygienist Training and LicensingHow to become a dental hygienist depends on completing educational requirements, training and passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Dental hygienists receive their education through academic programs at community colleges, technical colleges, dental schools or universities. The majority of college programs take at least two years to complete, with graduates receiving associate degrees. Receipt of this degree allows a hygienist to take licensure examinations (national and state or regional), become licensed and to work in a dental office. Dental school and university-based dental hygiene programs may offer baccalaureate and master's degrees, which generally require at least two years of further schooling. These additional degrees may be required for a career in teaching and/or research, as well as for clinical practice in school or public health programs. Dental hygienists are licensed by each state to provide dental hygiene care and patient education. Almost all states require that dental hygienists be graduates of Commission on Dental Education-accredited dental hygiene education programs to be eligible for state licensure. And, almost all states require candidates for licensure to obtain a passing score on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (a comprehensive written examination) in addition to passing the state-authorized licensure examination.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Glendale AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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. Glendale AZ employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you enroll in provides sufficient 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, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Glendale AZ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain 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 build professional relationships in the Glendale AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Glendale AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Glendale AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Glendale AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need 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 work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Glendale Dental Hygienist Program
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona.