How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Lynwood California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Lynwood CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools 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 contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lynwood CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lynwood CA dental offices are usually required to hold 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 nearly 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Lynwood CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lynwood CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lynwood CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Lynwood CA dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lynwood CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lynwood CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 costs 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 schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lynwood CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Lynwood 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lynwood CA?
Lynwood is a city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 69,772, down from 69,845 at the 2000 census. Lynwood is located near South Gate and Compton in the southern portion of the Los Angeles Basin. Incorporated in 1921, the city is named for Lynn Wood Sessions, wife of a local dairyman, Charles Sessions. The local railroad siding and later Pacific Electric Railway station were named after the dairy.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lynwood had a population of 69,772. The population density was 14,415.7 people per square mile (5,565.9/km²). The racial makeup of Lynwood was 27,444 (39.3%) White (2.2% Non-Hispanic White), 7,168 (10.3%) African American, 464 (0.7%) Native American, 457 (0.7%) Asian, 206 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 31,652 (45.4%) from other races, and 2,381 (3.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 60,452 persons (86.6%).
There were 14,680 households, out of which 9,790 (66.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 8,303 (56.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,266 (22.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,569 (10.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,281 (8.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 105 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,064 households (7.2%) were made up of individuals and 328 (2.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.57. There were 13,138 families (89.5% of all households); the average family size was 4.62.
The population was spread out with 22,977 people (32.9%) under the age of 18, 8,705 people (12.5%) aged 18 to 24, 21,245 people (30.4%) aged 25 to 44, 13,075 people (18.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,770 people (5.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist School near Lynwood CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential 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 many alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lynwood CA.
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