How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Laguna Beach California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Laguna Beach CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties 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 Laguna Beach CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting 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 area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Laguna Beach CA dental practices are usually required to have 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Laguna Beach CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Laguna Beach CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Laguna Beach CA employers typically 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 programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want 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 Laguna Beach CA dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way 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 create professional relationships in the Laguna Beach CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Laguna Beach CA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Laguna Beach CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Laguna Beach CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Laguna Beach CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Laguna Beach CA?
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. It is known for a mild year-round climate, scenic coves, environmental preservation, and an artist community. The population in the 2010 census was 22,723.
Historically a territory of Paleoindians, the Tongva people and then Mexico, the location became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War. Laguna Beach was settled in the 1870s, officially founded in 1887 and, in 1927 its current government was incorporated as a city. In 1944, the city adopted a council-manager form for its government. The city has remained relatively isolated from urban encroachment by its surrounding hills, limited highway access, and a dedicated greenbelt. The Laguna Beach coastline is protected by 5.88 miles (9.46 km) of state marine reserve and an additional 1.21 miles (1.95 km) of state conservation area.
Tourism is the primary industry with an estimated three million people visiting the community annually. Annual large events include the Pageant of the Masters, Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, Art-A-Fair, Bluewater Music Festival, and Kelpfest.
Laguna Beach was the site of a prehistoric paleoindian civilization. In 1933, the first fossilized skull of a paleoindian found in California was uncovered during construction on St. Ann's Drive. Known as "Laguna Woman", the skull originally was radiocarbon dated to more than 17,000 BP, however, revised measurements suggest it originated during the Holocene era 11,700 years before present. Subsequent research has found several prehistoric encampment sites in the area.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Laguna Beach CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Laguna Beach CA.
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