How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Dana Point California
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Dana Point CA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, including the program’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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to 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 Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Dana Point CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Dana Point CA dental practices are generally 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and technical 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Dana Point CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Dana Point CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Dana Point CA employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Dana Point CA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive 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 establish professional relationships in the Dana Point CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Dana Point CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Dana Point CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Dana Point CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Dana Point CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Dana Point CA?
Dana Point, California
Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County, California. The population was 33,351 at the 2010 census. It has one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast, and with ready access via State Route 1, it is a popular local destination for surfing.
The city was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area. Dana described the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as "the only romantic spot on the coast". Although Dana described the anchorage as poor, it is now a developed harbor and contains a replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, which is located at the harbor. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.
Dana Point was a popular port for ships involved with the hide trade with nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano. Trading reached its peak in the 1830s and 1840s. In 1818, Argentine sailor Hippolyte de Bouchard anchored there while conducting his raid on the mission. Richard Henry Dana then visited the area in 1835 while serving aboard the sailing brig Pilgrim on her voyage along the California coastline.
In 1923, Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler and General M. H. Sherman, director of the Pacific Electric Railway Company, created a major real estate group to develop what is known today as the Hollywood Hills. Sidney H. Woodruff, already a prominent Los Angeles homebuilder, was hired to lead the project.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Dana Point CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Dana Point CA.
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