How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Monterey California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Monterey CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest 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 college’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 complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Monterey CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out 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 about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Monterey CA dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Monterey CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Monterey CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going 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 college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Monterey CA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Monterey CA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means 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 create professional relationships in the Monterey CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Monterey CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Monterey CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Monterey CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Monterey CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Monterey CA?
Monterey is a city located in Monterey County in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. It stands at an elevation of 26 feet (8 m) above sea level, on a land area of 8.466 sq mi (21.93 km2).The 2010 census recorded a population of 27,810.
Monterey was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico. It was the only port of entry for taxable goods in California. In 1846, the U.S. flag was raised over the Customs House, and California became part of the United States after the Mexican–American War.
The city had California's first theater, public building, public library, publicly funded school, printing press, and newspaper. The city and surrounding area have attracted artists since the late 19th century and many celebrated painters and writers have lived there. Until the 1950s, there was an abundant fishery.
Long before the arrival of Spanish explorers, the Rumsen Ohlone tribe, one of seven linguistically distinct Ohlone groups in California, inhabited the area now known as Monterey. They subsisted by hunting, fishing and gathering food on and around the biologically rich Monterey Peninsula. Researchers have found a number of shell middens in the area and, based on the archaeological evidence, concluded the Ohlone's primary marine food consisted at various times of mussels and abalone. A number of midden sites have been located along about 12 miles (19 km) of rocky coast on the Monterey Peninsula from the current site of Fishermans' Wharf in Monterey to Carmel.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Monterey CA
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend 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 options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Monterey CA.
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