How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Camden Arkansas
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Camden AR is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the college’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 longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Camden AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Camden AR dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Camden AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Camden AR, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are looking at 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 ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Camden AR employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers sufficient 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, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Camden AR dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching 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 Camden AR dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Camden AR dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Camden AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Camden AR 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 practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Camden AR?
In 2000, Camden had a population of 13,154, but it lost 7.4 percent of its residents and recorded 12,183 in 2010. The municipality in 2010 was 56 percent African American. Camden is the principal city of the Camden Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ouachita and Calhoun counties.
Indigenous peoples of various cultures lived along the rivers of Arkansas for thousands of years and created complex societies. Mississippian culture peoples built massive earthwork mounds along the Ouachita River, beginning circa 1000.
The region was part of French Louisiana from 1682-1762. The Indians who had given their name to the river had died out or moved on by the mid-1700s. The land along the Ouachita River was inhabited by remnants of several Indian tribes, and the river was home to a small population of mostly French hunters, trappers and traders. Then, in 1763, Spain acquired Louisiana by treaty, but the culture remained decidedly French. After the American Revolution, Spanish Governor Bernardo de Gálvez decided to establish a military post on the upper Ouachita as a buffer between US and Spanish territory. He appointed a Frenchman named Jean-Baptiste Filhiol (Don Juan Filhiol) to be the commandant of the new post. In 1782, Filhiol chose an old, established center of trade called Ecore à Fabri (Fabri's Bluff) located high above the Ouachita River at present-day Camden. This was the first attempt at a European settlement on the Ouachita. The nomadic inhabitants had no interest in an agrarian lifestyle, and efforts to attract settlers from elsewhere failed. A few years later, Filhiol moved the Ouachita Post down the river to Prairie des Canots, now Monroe, Louisiana.
The Louisiana Purchase brought a wave of migrants from the southern United States. They developed farmlands as cotton plantations and transported thousands of enslaved African Americans into the area for labor. The city of Camden marks its founding as 1824, though it was not incorporated and officially named “Camden” until 1844. Some controversy exists over the origin of the name, but most agree it is named for Camden, Alabama, the hometown of General Thomas Woodward, an early city founder. Prior to the name change from Écore a Fabri to Camden, the location was simply known as "The Bluff".
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Camden AR
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing 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 best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Camden AR.
More Great Cities in Arkansas