How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near La Palma California
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near La Palma CA is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role 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 in support of the La Palma CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- 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 as well as any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in La Palma 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your La Palma CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in La Palma CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order 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 education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. La Palma CA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local La Palma CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the La Palma CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the La Palma CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the La Palma CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near La Palma CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near La Palma CA?
La Palma, California
In 2013, La Palma was ranked 31st in the "Best places to live" among small cities (50,000 or less) in the United States by CNN's Money magazine. In 2007, it was ranked 16th best place to live in the US. The rankings are based on the small-and-friendly neighborhood vibe, high-ranking schools, low crime-rate and the lowest police response time in Orange County.
La Palma was incorporated on October 26, 1955. It was originally incorporated as Dairyland, and was one of three dairy cities in the region (the other two being Dairy Valley in Cerritos and Dairy City in Cypress) but when the dairies moved east in 1965, the name of the community was changed to La Palma, after the region's Spanish heritage and its main thoroughfare, La Palma Avenue.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.83 square miles (4.7 km2). 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.052 km2) of it (1.32%) is water. This makes it the smallest city in Orange County in terms of area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,408 people, 4,979 households, and 4,227 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,499.3 inhabitants per square mile (3,286.8/km²). There were 5,066 housing units at an average density of 2,794.5 per square mile (1,080.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.6% Asian, 36.3% White, 10.3% Hispanic, 4.5% Black, .3% Pacific Islander, .2% Native American, .2% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near La Palma CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial 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 many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning 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 ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in La Palma CA.
More Great Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 2400