How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Novato California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Novato CA is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Novato CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Novato CA dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 technical 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Novato CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Novato CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing 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 final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Novato CA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Novato CA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Novato CA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Novato CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Novato CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Novato CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Novato CA?
Novato (/nəˈvɑːtoʊ/ nə-VAH-toh) is a city in northern Marin County, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 51,904. Novato is located about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of San Rafael and about 30 miles (48 km) north of San Francisco on U.S. 101. Novato is called by press, one of the best places to live in the US. 
In 1839, the Mexican government granted the 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint Novatus at his baptism. Subsequently, four additional land grants were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olompali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at 56,621 acres (229.1 km2), awarded to Pablo de la Guerra and John B.R. Cooper in 1844. Novato, along with the rest of California, became part of the United States on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought 15,000 acres (61 km2) in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards.
The original town was located around Novato Creek at what is now South Novato Boulevard. A railroad was built in 1879, connecting Novato to Sonoma County and San Rafael. The area around the train depot became known as New Town, and forms the edge of what today is Old Town Novato. The current depot was built in 1917, but closed in 1959, and is largely derelict. The depot consisted of two buildings: a warehouse and a station. The warehouse burned twice in the intervening years. Behind the rail station/warehouse complex was a grain and feed mill complex. The mill complex, along with the warehouse portion of the rail station, was torn down in late 2007 to make way for public parking and a Whole Foods/high-density housing development, while the derelict station is still standing.
A Presbyterian church, still a landmark in Novato today, was built in 1896. Until 2006 it housed a number of city offices, but was vacated that year due to safety concerns and condemned; the church has since been renovated. A new city center complex has been erected adjacent to the old City Hall.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Novato CA
Choosing 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 we have covered, there are a number of options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Novato CA.
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