How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Montevallo Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Montevallo AL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance the school’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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
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 Montevallo AL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Montevallo AL dental practices 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 virtually 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Montevallo AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Montevallo AL, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Montevallo AL employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides adequate 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, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Montevallo AL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Montevallo AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Montevallo AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Montevallo AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Montevallo AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Montevallo AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Montevallo AL?
Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Dr. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.
Montevallo is located at 33°6′18″N 86°51′46″W / 33.10500°N 86.86278°W / 33.10500; -86.86278 (33.1049, -86.8628). A plaque on Reynolds Cemetery Road, just off Alabama State Route 25, in the eastern corner of the town, marks the geographic center of the state of Alabama. Middle Street, formerly known as Main Street, had its name changed in 1899 for this reason, upon the completion of a new state survey.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson's friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson's Hill developed on the site. The settlement's location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.
Montevallo was used by local farmers as a market town where they could sell and package their produce. It was incorporated as a city in 1848. In 1853 a railway was built between Montevallo and Selma which allowed further economic growth to Montevallo and in 1856 a coal mine was created nearby leading to further growth.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Montevallo AL
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Montevallo AL.
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