How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Siloam Springs Arkansas
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Siloam Springs AR is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Siloam Springs AR practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Siloam Springs AR dental offices are usually 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Siloam Springs AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Siloam Springs AR, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Siloam Springs AR employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Siloam Springs AR dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Siloam Springs AR dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Siloam Springs AR dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Siloam Springs AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Siloam Springs AR at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Siloam Springs AR?
Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Siloam Springs is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The city shares a border on the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line with the city of West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, which is within the Cherokee Nation territory. The town was founded in 1882 and was characterized by the purported healing powers of the spring water feeding Sager Creek and trading with nearby Native American tribes. John Brown University (JBU) was founded in 1919 as a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college in the city. Today, Siloam Springs is known for its efforts to preserve and revitalize the city's historic downtown and as a promoter of the arts via Sager Creek Arts Center and the JBU art gallery. The community is located on the western edge of the growing Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area and has had a population increase of 47% to 15,039 between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Osage Indians were the known first inhabitants of the area. Siloam Springs' first white settlers were of German and Scots-Irish origin. Simon Sager is considered the founder of the town, then known as Hico.
The area is located in the Mid-South region of the country where the southern plains meet the Ozark Mountains. The city sits atop a plateau with many dogwood trees growing across the landscape. Siloam Springs is made up of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. The latter is in the territory of the Cherokee Nation in northeastern Oklahoma.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2), of which 11.1 square miles (28.7 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.71%, is water.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist College near Siloam Springs AR
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 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 choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Siloam Springs AR.
More Great Cities in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8