How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Brentwood California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Brentwood CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance the school’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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Brentwood CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 licensure examinations. Once they have completed 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
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Brentwood CA dental practices are usually 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Brentwood CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Brentwood CA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Brentwood CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Brentwood CA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Brentwood CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Brentwood CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Brentwood CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Brentwood CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Brentwood CA?
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Marsh was one of the wealthiest men in California and was instrumental in its becoming independent from Mexico and part of the United States. His letters extolling the potential for agriculture in California were published in newspapers throughout the East. They resulted in the first wagon trains to California. Marsh encouraged this, and allowed new arrivals to stay on his ranch until they could get settled. Rancho Los Meganos became the terminus of the California Trail. Brentwood was named after Marsh's ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.
Balfour, Guthrie & Co., a British investment company, purchased the John Marsh ranch in 1910. The company invested heavily in other California agricultural properties as well. In 1910, it built the Brentwood Hotel at Oak Street and Brentwood Boulevard, across from the railroad station. This replaced an earlier hotel on the same site that had burned down in 1903. The hotel was razed in 1967, and replaced by a service station.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near Brentwood CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Brentwood CA.
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