How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Belmont California
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Belmont CA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider 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 complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Belmont CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Belmont CA dental practices are often required to have 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 almost 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Belmont CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Belmont CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in 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 college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Belmont CA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Belmont CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical 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 create professional relationships in the Belmont CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Belmont CA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Belmont CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Belmont CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Belmont CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Belmont CA?
Belmont is a city in San Mateo County in the U.S. state of California. It is in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the San Francisco Peninsula halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. It was originally part of Rancho de las Pulgas, for which one of its main roads, the Alameda de las Pulgas, is named. The city was incorporated in 1926. Its population was 25,835 at the 2010 census.
Ralston Hall is a historic landmark built by Bank of California founder, William Chapman Ralston, on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University. It was built around a villa formerly owned by Count Cipriani, an Italian aristocrat. The locally famous "Waterdog Lake" is also located in the foothills and highlands of Belmont.
One of two surviving structures from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition is on Belmont Avenue (the other is the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco). The building was brought to Belmont by E.D. Swift shortly after the exposition closed in 1915. Swift owned a large amount of land in the area.
Belmont has attracted national attention for a smoking ordinance passed in January 2009 which bans smoking in all businesses and multi-story apartments and condominiums; the ordinance has been described as one of the strictest in the nation.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Belmont CA
Picking the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Belmont CA.
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