How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Bellflower California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Bellflower CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’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 complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job 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 Bellflower CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Bellflower 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 complete 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Bellflower CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Bellflower CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Bellflower CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Bellflower CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get 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 form professional relationships in the Bellflower CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Bellflower CA dental community in addition to broad 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 environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Bellflower CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Bellflower CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Bellflower CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Bellflower CA?
Bellflower is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It was founded in 1906 and incorporated on September 3, 1957. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 76,616, up from 72,878 at the 2000 census. As of the 2010 census, Bellflower is the 25th most densely populated city in the United States, of cities over 50,000 residents (and 8th most densely populated in California).
The city was founded by F.E. Woodruff in 1906 and originally named Somerset in 1909 when the post office was established. However, the Post Office Department rejected the name to prevent confusion with Somerset, Colorado. The present name is derived from the bellflower apple, which was grown in local orchards during the early 1900s.
Originally settled by small communities of dairy farmers of Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese descent, Bellflower and neighboring Paramount served first as the apple and later the milk production centers for Southern California, until soaring post-World War II property values and threatened annexations by Los Angeles led by real-estate syndicates, forced most of the farmers to move several miles east to the Dairy Valley/Dairyland/Dairy City area (now the cities of Cerritos, La Palma, and Cypress). These farms were in turn divided up into large housing divisions for Los Angeles's growing White American population which worked in the region's high-tech, skilled industrial, and service positions. From the 1950s through the late 1960s, Bellflower Boulevard, the city's main thoroughfare, was a thriving commercial strip for shopping. Numerous retail and franchise restaurant firms began on this street, which also featured middle- and high-end boutiques, arts and crafts shops, and other small shopkeeps alongside larger department stores and banks. It is sister cities with Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Bellflower is bordered by Downey on the north and northwest, Norwalk and Cerritos on the east, Lakewood on the south, Long Beach on the southwest, and Paramount on the west. Bellflower is part of Southeast Los Angeles County and the "Gateway Cities Council of Governments" (GCOG).
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Bellflower CA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your education 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 generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend 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 selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Bellflower CA.
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