How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Big Bear Lake California
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Big Bear Lake CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Big Bear Lake CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also 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
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Big Bear Lake CA dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Big Bear Lake CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Big Bear Lake CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of 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 help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Big Bear Lake CA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Big Bear Lake CA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Big Bear Lake CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Big Bear Lake CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Big Bear Lake CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Big Bear Lake CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Big Bear Lake CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Big Bear Lake CA?
Big Bear Lake, California
Big Bear Lake is a small city in San Bernardino County, California, located in the San Bernardino Mountains along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. The city is located about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of the city of San Bernardino, and immediately west of the unincorporated town of Big Bear City. The population was approximately 5,019 at the 2010 census, down from 5,438 at the 2000 census. Being a popular year-round resort destination, however, the actual number of people staying in or visiting the greater Big Bear Valley area regularly surges to over 100,000 during many weekends of the year.
Big Bear Lake was inhabited by the indigenous Serrano Indians for over 2,000 years before it was explored by Benjamin Wilson and his party. Once populated by only the natives and the grizzly bears, from which the area received its name, the population of the Big Bear Valley grew rapidly during the Southern California Gold Rush from 1861 to 1912. Grizzly bears were not found in the region after 1908. Today, there are black bears in the region since their introduction in 1933, and they are sometimes sighted in residential areas.
A trip to Big Bear Lake from San Bernardino took two days on horse-drawn coaches. Kirk Phillips was a local who took a trip to New York City and saw the world's first bus line. This inspired him to create the world's second bus line from San Bernardino to Big Bear Valley using White trucks with several rows of seats. This made it possible for the villages to grow and for Big Bear Lake to become the first mountain recreation area in Southern California.
Many people traveled to enjoy recreation on the lake, however, another major draw was the natural hot spring. Emile Jesserun bought 40 acres (16 ha) of land that included the hot spring and built the first major resort in Big Bear, the Pan Hot Springs Hotel, in 1921.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Big Bear Lake CA
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly 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 schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Big Bear Lake CA.
More Great Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 88