How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Cerritos California
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Cerritos CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Cerritos CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Cerritos CA dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Cerritos CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cerritos CA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Cerritos CA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers adequate 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, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Cerritos CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get 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 form professional relationships in the Cerritos CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Cerritos CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Cerritos CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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 colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Cerritos CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Cerritos CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cerritos CA?
Cerritos (Spanish for little hills), formerly named Dairy Valley because of the preponderance of dairy farms in the area, is an affluent suburban city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of several cities that constitute the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. It was incorporated on April 24, 1956. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,041. It is part of the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, California Metropolitan Statistical Area designated by the Office of Management and Budget.
Cerritos was originally inhabited by Native Americans belonging to the Tongva (or "People of the Earth"). Later, the Tongva would be renamed the "Gabrieleños" by the Spanish settlers after the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. The Gabrieleños were the largest group of Southern California Indians as well as the most developed in the region. The Gabrieleños lived off the land, deriving food from the animals or plants that could be gathered, snared or hunted, and grinding acorns as a staple.
Beginning in the late 15th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the New World and worked their way to the California coast in 1542. The colonization process included "civilizing" the native populations in California by means of establishing various missions. Soon afterwards, a town called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (Los Angeles today) would be founded and prosper with the aid of subjects from New Spain and Native American labor.
One soldier, José Manuel Nieto, was granted a large plot of land by the Spanish King Carlos III, which he named Rancho Los Nietos. It covered 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) of what are today the cities of Cerritos, Long Beach, Lakewood, Downey, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, part of Whittier, Huntington Beach, Buena Park and Garden Grove.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Cerritos CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, 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 receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cerritos CA.
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