How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near La Habra California
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near La Habra CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the program’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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties 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 in support of the La Habra CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once 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 working in La Habra CA dental offices are generally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your La Habra CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in La Habra CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. La Habra CA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local La Habra CA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the La Habra CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the La Habra CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the La Habra CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near La Habra CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near La Habra CA?
La Habra, California
La Habra is a city in the northwestern corner of Orange County, California, United States. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 60,239. Its related city, La Habra Heights, is located to the north of La Habra, and is in Los Angeles County.
In 1839, when the area was part of Alta California, vast herds of cattle and horses grazed over the hills and valleys of southern California. Mariano Reyes Roldan was granted 6,698 acres (27 km2) in that year and named his land Rancho Cañada de La Habra. In the 1860s, Abel Stearns purchased Rancho La Habra.
The city was incorporated under general law on January 20, 1925, with a population of 3,000. The police force was organized in 1926 and employed a chief, traffic officer and patrolman. By 1928, the city was the largest avocado center in Southern California. In 1930, the first fire department building was constructed followed by the original City Hall in 1935. By 1950, the population reached nearly 5,000. The Civic Center took shape when the existing County Library was dedicated in 1966, followed by the present administration building in 1969.
For more than 70 years, La Habra was known as the city just south of La Habra Heights where the Hass avocado, of the Hass Avocado Mother Tree, was planted by Rudolph Hass in the 1920s. The fruit from this tree has since become one of the most popular avocado cultivars worldwide. The Hass Mother Tree succumbed to root rot in 2002.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near La Habra CA
Picking the right 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 several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in La Habra CA.
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