How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Kenwood California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Kenwood CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Kenwood CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure 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 Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Kenwood 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 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Kenwood CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Kenwood CA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several 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 requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Kenwood CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Kenwood CA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical 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 create professional relationships in the Kenwood CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Kenwood CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Kenwood CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether 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 programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Kenwood CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Kenwood CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Kenwood CA?
Kenwood, California is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma County, California, United States, located on Sonoma Highway (State Route 12) between the cities of Santa Rosa and Sonoma. It lies east of Sonoma Creek in the upper part of Sonoma Valley, a region sometimes called the Valley of the Moon. Bennett Mountain lies west of the town, and Sugarloaf Ridge to the northeast. The population was 1,028 at the 2010 census.
Like all of Sonoma County, Kenwood is considered part of the Wine Country. Viticulturally, it lies in the Sonoma Valley AVA. The Kenwood area is known for vineyards and wineries, restaurants, and a European-style resort. An area landmark is the Kunde Estate Winery on Sonoma Highway, which was first planted in 1879.
Kenwood Plaza Park, located two blocks south of State Route 12 at 200 Warm Springs Road and Shaw Park, which is located at 100 Shaw Ave also off State Route 12. Both are managed by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department.
Kenwood is located on the Rancho Los Guilicos Mexican land grant. In 1887, the Sonoma Land & Improvement Company, which owned the property on which the town now sits, laid out lots in anticipation of the railroad which would arrive the following year. The infant community tried on many names: Rohrerville, for one of the owners of the land company; Los Guilicos, and then South Los Guilicos, for the Mexican land grant.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near Kenwood CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Kenwood CA.
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