How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Fullerton California
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Fullerton CA is an essential initial step toward launching 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 performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including 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 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review 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 most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fullerton CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fullerton CA dental offices are normally 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Fullerton CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fullerton CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program 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. Fullerton CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Fullerton CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective 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 Fullerton CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fullerton CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Fullerton CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fullerton CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Fullerton CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fullerton CA?
Fullerton was founded in 1887. It secured the land on behalf of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Historically it was a center of agriculture, notably groves of Valencia oranges and other citrus crops; petroleum extraction; transportation; and manufacturing. It is home to numerous higher educational institutions, particularly California State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College. From the mid-1940s through the late 1990s, Fullerton was home to a large industrial base made up of aerospace contractors, canneries, paper products manufacturers, and is considered to be the birthplace of the electric guitar, due in a large part to Leo Fender.
Evidence of prehistoric animal habitation, such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths, is present in Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in the northwest of the city.Europeans first passed through the area in 1769 when Gaspar de Portolà led a Spanish expedition north to Monterey. From the description recorded in the diary of Father Juan Crespi, it seems likely that the party camped on July 29 near present-day Laguna Lake, in the Sunny Hills area.
After establishment of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in 1771, the local Tongva people were dubbed "Gabrieliños" by the Spanish. In 1837, the Fullerton area became part of Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, granted to Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, a Spanish soldier.
Ontiveros began to sell parcels of the Rancho to migrant Americans settling and developing California in the aftermath of the 1849 Gold Rush, including Massachusetts native Abel Stearns. In the 1860s, Stearns sold in turn to Domingo Bastanchury, a Basque shepherd.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Fullerton CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fullerton CA.
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