How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Benicia California
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Benicia CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Benicia CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Benicia CA dental practices are normally required to hold 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Benicia CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Benicia CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Benicia CA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Benicia CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method 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 Benicia CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Benicia CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Benicia CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Benicia CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Benicia CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Benicia CA?
Benicia (/bəˈniːʃə/ bə-NEE-shə; bə-NI-shə; Spanish pronunciation: [beˈnisja]) is a waterside city in Solano County, California, located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It served as the state capital for nearly thirteen months from 1853 to 1854. The population was 26,997 at the 2010 census. The city is located along the north bank of the Carquinez Strait. Benicia is just east of Vallejo and across the strait from Martinez. Elizabeth Patterson has served as Mayor of Benicia since 2007.
The town is divided into four areas: the East Side (east of First Street), the West Side (west of First Street), Southampton (north of 780), and the industrial park. Most of the town's older homes are on the east and west sides. Southampton contains primarily single-family housing developments and condominiums, most of which were built between 1970 and 2000. The East Side includes the Benicia Arsenal, a former United States Army armory, which was bought by the city and is now used for a variety of purposes, most notably as live-work spaces for artists. The Arsenal is home to several historic (ca. 1860) landmark buildings such as The Clock Tower, the Camel Barn, and the Jefferson Street Mansion. The industrial park lies to the northeast of the residential areas of the city, and includes the Valero oil refinery. The Benicia State Recreation Area is on the far west edge of the city.
The main retail area in Benicia is First Street, which attracts out-of-town antique and boutique shoppers and those seeking small-town, historic charm. In 1987 Benicia was selected to participate in the California Main Street Program.
Connections to Benicia include Interstate 680 from Martinez to the south and Cordelia Junction (Fairfield) to the north, and Interstate 780, Columbus Parkway, and other local roads from Vallejo to the west. Amtrak also runs past the city north towards Sacramento, but the nearest train station lies in Martinez across the Carquinez Strait. Railroad tracks carrying Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad lines cross the strait alongside the Benicia–Martinez Bridge.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Benicia CA
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Benicia CA.
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