How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Antioch California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Antioch CA is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Antioch CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every 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 tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Antioch CA dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Antioch CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting 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 obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Antioch CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Antioch CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Antioch CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical 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 professional relationships in the Antioch CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Antioch CA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning 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, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Antioch CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Antioch CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Antioch CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Antioch CA?
Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing, and Marshs Landing) is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.
Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.
In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.
Around 1859, coal was discovered in several places in the hills south of Antioch and coal mining formed the first substantial business apart from farming and dairying by the inhabitants of this community. This new industry resulted in the founding of the towns of Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartville, and Black Diamond (now Pittsburg), and added greatly to the economic activity of the Antioch area. The Empire Coal Company was formed by John C. Rouse and George Hawxhurst in 1876, which built a railroad that passed from Antioch toward the mines over what is now "F Street" (formerly Kimball Street). However, later on, both the mine and the railroad passed into the hands of the Belshaw brothers. The mines have long ago ceased operation, and the railroad tracks have been dug up, though the building that served as the Antioch terminus of the railroad still stands on the corner of F Street and Fourth Street, and the grading and trestles still remain much as they were in those early days.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Antioch CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial 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 numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Antioch CA.
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