How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Springdale AR is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, including 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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Springdale AR 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 first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Springdale AR dental offices are normally required to hold 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Springdale AR home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Springdale AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. 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 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. Springdale AR employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Springdale AR dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Springdale AR dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Springdale AR dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Springdale AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Springdale AR in the evenings 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Springdale AR?
Springdale is the fourth-largest city in Arkansas, United States. It is located in both Washington and Benton counties in Northwest Arkansas. Located on the Springfield Plateau deep in the Ozark Mountains, Springdale has long been an important industrial city for the region. In addition to several trucking companies, the city is home to the world headquarters of Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat producing company. Originally named Shiloh, the city changed its name to Springdale when applying for a post office in 1872. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city had a population of 69,797 at the 2010 Census.
Springdale has been experiencing a population boom in recent years, as indicated by a 133% growth in population between the 1990 and 2010 censuses. During this period of rapid growth, the city has seen a new Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, the establishment of a Springdale campus of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals minor league baseball team move into Arvest Ballpark. Tyson remains the city's top employer, and is visible throughout the city. Many public features bear the Tyson name, including the Randal Tyson Recreational Complex, Don Tyson Parkway, Helen Tyson Middle School, John Tyson Elementary and Don Tyson School of Innovation. Governor Mike Beebe signed an act into law recognizing Springdale as "The Poultry Capital Of The World" in 2013.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 108.9 square miles (282 km2), of which, 108.3 square miles (280 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it, or 0.62%, is water. The city limits extend north into southern Benton County. Springdale is bordered by the cities of Cave Springs, Lowell, and Bethel Heights to the north, by Elm Springs and Tontitown to the west, and by Johnson and Fayetteville to the south.
The city is located in both Benton and Washington counties along Interstate 49/US Highway 62/US Highway 71 (I-49/US 62/US 71). This is the only fully controlled access route through the area, which replaced the winding US 71 (now US 71B) in the 1990s. An interstate connection with Fort Smith to the south and Kansas City, Missouri to the north has greatly helped to grow Springdale. Within Washington County, Springdale is bordered along the south by Fayetteville and Johnson. In some locations, this transition is seamless. The city extends west and east along Highway 412 toward Tontitown and Beaver Lake, respectively.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Springdale AR
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your education 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 typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Springdale AR.
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