How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Los Gatos California
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Los Gatos CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Los Gatos CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Los Gatos CA dental offices are often required to have 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 community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Los Gatos CA home or elsewhere 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 on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Los Gatos CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college 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. Los Gatos CA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Los Gatos CA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best 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 develop professional relationships in the Los Gatos CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Los Gatos CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Los Gatos CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Los Gatos CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Los Gatos CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Los Gatos CA?
Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos /lɒs ˈɡɑːtəs/ (Spanish for "The Cats") is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population is 30,391 according to the 2013 United States Census Bureau. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Los Gatos is ranked the 33rd wealthiest city in the United States. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area at the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Los Gatos is part of Silicon Valley, with several high technology companies maintaining a presence there. Most notably, streaming and content creator, Netflix is headquartered in Los Gatos and has developed a large presence in the area.
Los Gatos is Spanish for "the cats." The name derives from the 1839 Alta California land-grant that encompassed the area, which was called La Rinconada de Los Gatos, ("Cat's Corner"), where "the cats" refers to the cougars and bobcats that are indigenous to the foothills in which the town is located. The name has been anglicized to /lɔːs ˈɡætəs/ lawss-GAT-əs, although one also hears pronunciations truer to the original Spanish, /loʊsˈɡɑːtoʊs/ lohss-GAH-tohss.
The town's founding dates to the mid-1850s with the building of a flour operation, Forbes Mill, by James Alexander Forbes along Los Gatos Creek. The mill's two-story stone storage annex has been preserved as a museum just off of Main Street.
The settlement that was established in the 1860s was originally named for the mill, but the name was changed to Los Gatos after the Spanish land grant. The town was incorporated in 1887 and remained an important town for the logging industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains through the end of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the town became a thriving agricultural town with apricots, grapes and prunes being grown in the area. By the 1920s, the Los Gatos area had a local reputation as an arts colony, attracting painters, musicians, writers, actors and their bohemian associates as residents over the years. The violinist Yehudi Menuhin lived there as a boy; the actresses Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland (sisters) were graduates of Los Gatos High School, John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath there (the location is now located in Monte Sereno), and Beat hero Neal Cassady lived there in the 1950s. Along with much of the Santa Clara Valley, Los Gatos became a suburban community for San Jose beginning in the 1950s, and the town was mostly built-out by the 1980s.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Los Gatos CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Los Gatos CA.
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