How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Laguna Niguel California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Laguna Niguel CA is an essential initial step toward launching 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 completing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Laguna Niguel CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums 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
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Laguna Niguel CA dental offices are often 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and technical 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 dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Laguna Niguel CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much 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 as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist 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 Laguna Niguel CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Laguna Niguel CA employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Laguna Niguel CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Laguna Niguel CA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Laguna Niguel CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Laguna Niguel CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Laguna Niguel CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Laguna Niguel CA?
Laguna Niguel, California
Laguna Niguel is a suburban city in Orange County, California in the United States. The name Laguna Niguel is derived from the words "Laguna" (Spanish for "lagoon") and "Niguili" (the name of a Native American village once located near Aliso Creek). As of the 2010 census, the population was 62,979. Laguna Niguel is located in the San Joaquin Hills in the southeastern corner of Orange County, close to the Pacific Ocean, and borders the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano.
Laguna Niguel has its origins in the Rancho Niguel Mexican land grant, which was acquired in 1959 by the Laguna Niguel Corporation to develop one of California's first master-planned communities. As a predominantly residential city, Laguna Niguel serves as a bedroom community for the job centers of northern and central Orange County. Laguna Niguel has a median household income 31 percent above the Orange County average and nearly double the U.S. average. It is known for its mild coastal climate, low crime rate and its numerous parks and public trails.
The first recorded inhabitants of the Laguna Niguel area were the Acjachemem Native Americans, who may have had a village called "Niguili" near the confluence of Aliso Creek and Sulphur Creek. Aliso Creek marked the boundary between the Acjachemem and Tongva people. In the 1700s, during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, Spanish missionaries established the nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano to convert the Acjachemem (called the Juañeno by the Spanish) to Christianity. The Mission lands, which included the present-day boundaries of Laguna Niguel, were divided into private land grants in 1821 upon Mexico's independence from Spain.
In 1842, the 13,316-acre (5,389 ha) Rancho Niguel was granted to Juan Avila; he retained ownership of the land through the Mexican-American War (when California became part of the United States) until 1865, when a severe drought forced him into bankruptcy. In 1895 Lewis Moulton and Jean Pierre Daguerre bought the Rancho Niguel and other portions of the surrounding area from farmers who were struggling due to persistent drought conditions. The Moulton Company was established to oversee 19,000 acres (7,700 ha) of local land which was used, mainly for orchards and sheep ranching, well into the mid-20th century. In 1951 the land was divided between the Moulton and Daguerre families, the latter inheriting 8,056 acres (3,260 ha) in the future location of Laguna Niguel. In 1954 the Daguerres sold 7,200 acres (2,900 ha) to the Shumaker Group and 856 acres (346 ha) of oceanfront to George Capron, a former Major League Baseball player who established the Capron Ranch.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Laguna Niguel CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Laguna Niguel CA.
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