How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Lancaster California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Lancaster CA is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lancaster CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work 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 each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 working in Lancaster 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lancaster CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lancaster CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important 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 nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Lancaster CA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Lancaster CA dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lancaster CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lancaster CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lancaster CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Lancaster CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lancaster CA?
Lancaster /ˈlæn.kæstər/ is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of 2013, Lancaster was the 31st largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region.
Lancaster is located approximately 61 miles (98 km) north (by highway) of downtown Los Angeles, near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster grew from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 156,000 in 2010. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2015, Lancaster has a population of 168,049.
The area where Lancaster is now located, known as the Antelope Valley, was originally home to the Paiute Indians. Lancaster's origins as a settlement start with the Southern Pacific Railroad, which is believed to first use the name Lancaster, where a station house, locomotive watering facilities and section gang housing were built when the railroad laid track through the town's future location. In 1876 the Southern Pacific completed the line through the Antelope Valley, linking San Francisco and Los Angeles. The origin of Lancaster's name is unclear, attributed variously to the surname of a railroad station clerk, the moniker given by railroad officials, or the former Pennsylvania home (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) of unknown settlers. Train service brought passengers through the water-stop-turned-community, which, with the help of promotional literature, attracted new settlers. The person credited with formally developing the town is Moses Langley Wicks, who in 1884 bought property from the railroad for $2.50 per acre, mapped out a town with streets and lots, and by September was advertising 160-acre tracts of land for $6 an acre. The following year, the Lancaster News started publication, making it the first weekly newspaper in the Antelope Valley. By 1890, Lancaster was bustling and booming, and thanks to adequate rainfall, farmers planted and sold thousands of acres of wheat and barley.
The town was devastated by the decade-long drought that began in 1894, killing businesses and driving cattle north, though fortunes improved somewhat in 1898 following the nearby discoveries of gold and borax, the latter to become a widespread industrial chemical and household cleaner. Thanks to the five-year construction of the 233-mile Los Angeles Aqueduct starting in 1908, Lancaster became a boom town by housing aqueduct workers. The 1912 completion of Antelope Valley Union High School allowed students from the growing region to study locally instead of moving to distant cities, and the school boasted the state's first dormitory system to accommodate students from outlying districts. The community began a steady growth spurt in the 1930s, starting with construction of Muroc Air Force Base, site of frequent flight tests, including the "breaking" of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager in a Bell X-1A in 1947. In the 1980s through the end of the program, Edwards Air Force Base, by then renamed, hosted a limited number of landings of the Space Shuttle. The development of Air Force Plant 42 in 1958, augmented in the 1960s by construction of Lockheed Aircraft's Plant 10, created tens of thousands of jobs. High-wage employment hit its peak in the 1970s during the Lockheed L-1011 commercial wide body jetliner project, for which all assembly and some engineering and parts production were performed. 250 L-1011 aircraft were assembled and flown from this plant and airfield. Lancaster was an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County until 1977, when it was incorporated as a city, with Arnold Rodio serving as its first mayor.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Lancaster CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lancaster CA.
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