How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Long Beach California
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Long Beach CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role 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 Long Beach CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform 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
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Long Beach CA dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Long Beach CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Long Beach CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Long Beach CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 Long Beach CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Long Beach CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Long Beach CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Long Beach CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Long Beach CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Long Beach CA?
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Greater Los Angeles area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 36th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.
The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a progressively declining oil industry with minor wells located both directly beneath the city as well as offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, automotive parts, electronic equipment, audiovisual equipment, petrochemicals, precision metals and home furnishings.
Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. Downtown Long Beach is approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities share an official border for several miles.
Indigenous people have lived in coastal Southern California for over 10,000 years, and several successive cultures have inhabited the present-day area of Long Beach. By the 16th-century arrival of Spanish explorers, the dominant group was the Tongva people. They had at least three major settlements within the present-day city. Tevaaxa'anga was an inland settlement near the Los Angeles River, while Ahwaanga and Povuu'nga were coastal villages. Along with other Tongva villages, they were forced to relocate in the mid-19th century due to missionization, political change, and a drastic drop in population from exposure to European diseases.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Long Beach CA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to receive 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Long Beach CA.
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