How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Hemet California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Hemet CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the college’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 complete. Naturally with the longer 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 review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Hemet CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Hemet CA dental offices are generally 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hemet CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hemet CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hemet CA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Hemet CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Hemet CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Hemet CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Hemet CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Hemet CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hemet CA?
Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California. It covers a total area of 27.8 square miles (72 km2), about half of the valley, which it shares with the neighboring city of San Jacinto. The population was 78,657 at the 2010 census.
The founding of Hemet predates the formation of Riverside County. The formation of Lake Hemet helped the city to grow and stimulated agriculture in the area. The city is known for being the home of The Ramona Pageant, California's official outdoor play. Started in 1923, the play is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States. Hemet has been named a Tree City USA for 20 years by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to the local forest. The city is home to the Hemet Valley Medical Center, a 320-bed general hospital.
The Cahuilla tribe were the initial inhabitants of the Hemet area. The tribe was moved to the Indian reservation near San Jacinto. During the early 19th century, the land was used for cattle ranching by Mission San Luis Rey, which named the area Rancho San Jacinto. In 1842 José Antonio Estudillo received the Rancho San Jacinto Viejo Mexican land grant.
In 1887, during the first major Southern California land boom, W.F. Whittier and E.L. Mayberry founded the Lake Hemet Water Company, the Hemet Land Company, and the city of Hemet. In 1895, the Hemet Dam was completed on the San Jacinto River, creating Lake Hemet and providing a reliable water supply to the San Jacinto Valley. This water system was a major contribution to the valley's development as an agricultural area.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Hemet CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hemet CA.
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