How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Lewiston California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Lewiston CA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including 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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lewiston CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled 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 added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lewiston CA dental offices are normally 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Lewiston CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical 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 get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lewiston CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lewiston CA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide 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 subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Lewiston CA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lewiston CA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lewiston CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lewiston CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Lewiston CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lewiston CA?
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lewiston has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
A post office called Lewiston has been in operation since 1854. The community was named after Benjamin Franklin Lewis, adopted son of town founder, Tom Palmer, who, with Lewis, ran a gold mining operation on the Trinity River in the early days of the Gold Rush. Lewiston's Online Pioneer Museum: www.oldlewistonschoolhouse.org
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lewiston had a population of 1,193. The population density was 59.6 people per square mile (23.0/km²). The racial makeup of Lewiston was 1,074 (90.0%) White, 8 (0.7%) African American, 37 (3.1%) Native American, 6 (0.5%) Asian, 5 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 21 (1.8%) from other races, and 42 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 78 persons (6.5%).
There were 553 households, out of which 112 (20.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 267 (48.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 45 (8.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 20 (3.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 44 (8.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 3 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 177 households (32.0%) were made up of individuals and 63 (11.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16. There were 332 families (60.0% of all households); the average family size was 2.70.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Lewiston CA
Picking 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 we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lewiston CA.
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