How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Glen Ellen California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Glen Ellen CA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job 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 assists the Glen Ellen CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When 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
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Glen Ellen CA dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Glen Ellen CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glen Ellen CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glen Ellen 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 available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Glen Ellen CA dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Glen Ellen CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Glen Ellen CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Glen Ellen CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near Glen Ellen CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Glen Ellen CA?
Glen Ellen, California
Glen Ellen is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States. The population was 784 at the 2010 census, down from 992 at the 2000 census. Glen Ellen is the location of Jack London State Historic Park (including the Wolf House), Sonoma Valley Regional Park, and a former home of Hunter S. Thompson.
In 1859, Charles V. Stuart purchased a part of the Rancho Agua Caliente land grant and in 1868 began building a house there, eventually establishing a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) vineyard he named Glen Ellen after his wife. The town that grew up around the vineyard also came to be called Glen Ellen, and Stuart's home was later renamed Glen Oaks Ranch.
Glen Ellen is about 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of the city of Sonoma. The United States Census Bureau fixes the total area at 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), 99.95% of it land and 0.05% covered by water. Sonoma Creek, the principal river of the Sonoma Valley flows through Glen Ellen.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Glen Ellen had a population of 784. The population density was 372.7 people per square mile (143.9/km²). The racial makeup of Glen Ellen was 693 (88.4%) White, 3 (0.4%) African American, 9 (1.1%) Native American, 16 (2.0%) Asian, 3 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 18 (2.3%) from other races, and 42 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 67 persons (8.5%).
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Glen Ellen CA
Choosing 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 many options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. 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 provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Glen Ellen CA.
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