How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Chico California
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Chico CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, such as 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job 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 Chico CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing 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 Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Chico CA dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a viable option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Chico CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often 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 proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Chico CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School 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 condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Chico CA employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Chico CA dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive 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 build professional relationships in the Chico CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Chico CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Chico CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Chico CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Chico CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, 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 Chico CA?
Chico is the most populous city in Butte County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 86,187, reflecting an increase of 26,233 from the 59,954 counted in the 2000 Census. The city is a cultural, economic, and educational center of the northern Sacramento Valley and home to both California State University, Chico and Bidwell Park, the country's 26th largest municipal park and the 13th largest municipally-owned park. Bidwell Park makes up over 17% of the city.
Other cities in close proximity to the Chico Metropolitan Area (population 212,000) include Paradise and Oroville, while local towns and villages (unincorporated areas) include Durham, Cohasset, Dayton, Nord, and Forest Ranch. The Chico Metropolitan Area is the 14th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in California.
The original inhabitants of the area now known as Chico were the Mechoopda Maidu Native Americans. The City of Chico was founded in 1860 by John Bidwell, a member of one of the first wagon trains to reach California in 1843. During the American Civil War, Camp Bidwell (named for John Bidwell, by then a Brigadier General of the California Militia), was established a mile outside Chico, by Lt. Col. A. E. Hooker with a company of cavalry and two of infantry, on August 26, 1863.
By early 1865 it was being referred to as Camp Chico when a post called Camp Bidwell was established in northeast California, later to be Fort Bidwell. The city became incorporated January 8, 1872.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Chico CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Chico CA.
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