How to Select the Best Dental Hygienist School Near New River Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near New River AZ is an essential first step toward beginning 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 completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the program'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 finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let's review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
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The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties 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 in support of the New River AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education OptionsAs a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in New River Arizona dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three 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. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally 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 New River AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New River Arizona, you can begin the procedure 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 colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. New River AZ employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local New River AZ dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the New River AZ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the New River AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the New River AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near New River AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best New River Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish 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 training 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New River Arizona.