How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Folsom California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Folsom CA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the school’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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job 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 Folsom CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Folsom CA dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Folsom CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Folsom CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid 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 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Folsom CA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Folsom CA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help 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 too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Folsom CA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Folsom CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Folsom CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Folsom CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Folsom CA?
Folsom is named for Joseph Libbey Folsom who purchased Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of a San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff, and laid out the town called Granite City, mostly occupied by gold miners seeking fortune in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Though few amassed a great deal of wealth, the city prospered due to Joseph Folsom's lobbying to get a railway to connect the town with Sacramento. Joseph died in 1855, and Granite City was later renamed to Folsom in his honor. The railway was abandoned in the 1980s but opened up as the terminus of the Gold Line of Sacramento Regional Transit District's light rail service in 2005. A few former gold-rush era towns are located within city limits of Folsom, including Prairie City, Salmon Falls, and Mormon Island (though these towns no longer exist).
The establishment of Folsom Prison came in 1880, when the Livermore family made an agreement with the state to donate land for the prison in exchange for prison labor. They planned to build a hydro-electric dam from the American River for a sawmill. Though the sawmill did not work out, the Livermores soon realized that the natural force of running water could provide enough power to transmit to Sacramento, and the Folsom Powerhouse, now a National Historic Landmark, was opened. At the time it was opened, it had the longest overhead run of electricity (22 miles) in the country. The powerhouse operated until 1952.
Folsom Dam was built in 1956, providing much-needed flood control and water rights for the Sacramento Valley. The creation of this dam also created one of the most popular lakes in Northern California, Folsom Lake. The dam is located on the southwest corner of the lake. The lake is an estimated 4.8 miles (7.7 km) from Granite Bay to the most southern point of Folsom Lake.
Folsom is home to Folsom Lake College, Folsom Dam, Folsom Lake, Folsom High School, Vista del Lago High School and a historic district. Folsom is also home to the largest private employer in the Sacramento area, Intel.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Folsom CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to obtain 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 junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Folsom CA.
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