How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Los Altos California
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Los Altos CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the college’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors 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 available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Los Altos CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Los Altos CA dental practices are generally 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Los Altos CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Los Altos CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Los Altos CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Los Altos CA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Los Altos CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Los Altos CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Los Altos CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Los Altos CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Los Altos CA?
Los Altos, California
Los Altos (/lɔːs ˈæltoʊs/ ( listen)) is a city in Santa Clara County, California, in northern Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 28,976 according to the 2010 census.
Most of the city's growth occurred between 1950 and 1980. Originally an agricultural town with many summer cottages and apricot orchards, Los Altos is now an affluent commuter town for Silicon Valley. Los Altos has several distinctive features. Commercial zones are strictly limited to the downtown area and small shopping and office parks lining Foothill Expressway and El Camino Real.
Homes and other real estate are costly in Los Altos. The median household income of Los Altos for 2006–2010 was $149,964. The average home listing price in 2014 was $1.96 million. In 2017, Forbes put Los Altos (94022 and 94024) as the 3rd and 48th most expensive ZIP codes in the United States with median home prices of $7,755,000 and $3,431,615, respectively. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Los Altos was the fifth wealthiest city in the United States.
The area was originally called Banks and Braes.Paul Shoup, an executive of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and his colleagues formed the Altos Land Company in 1906 and started the development of Los Altos. The company acquired 140 acres of land from Sarah Winchester. Shoup wanted to link Palo Alto and Los Gatos by making Los Altos a commuter town. It continued a train-a-day operation to and from San Francisco.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Los Altos CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to receive 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Los Altos CA.
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