How to Select the Best Dental Hygienist Course Near Glendale Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Glendale AZ is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the college'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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let's explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
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The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Glendale AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient's gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education OptionsAs a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Glendale Arizona dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Glendale AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glendale AZ employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Glendale AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Glendale AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Glendale AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Glendale AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Glendale Dental Hygienist Program
Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Glendale Arizona.