How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Panorama City California
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Panorama City CA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role 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 Panorama City CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal 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 teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination 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, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Panorama City CA dental offices are often 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Panorama City CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed 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 discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Panorama City CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Panorama City CA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Panorama City CA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Panorama City CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Panorama City CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Panorama City 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 depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Panorama City CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Panorama City CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, 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 Panorama City CA?
Panorama City, Los Angeles
Panorama City is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, within the San Fernando Valley. It has a generally young age range as well as the highest population density in the Valley. Ethnically, more than half the population was born abroad, a higher percentage than Los Angeles as a whole. Known as the valley's first planned community following a transition from agriculture to a post-World War II housing boom, it has produced several notable residents. Today it is a mixture of single-family homes and low-rise apartment buildings. Panorama City has three high schools, two recreational centers, a senior center, two hospitals and a chamber of commerce.
Panorama City is known as the San Fernando Valley's first planned community. In 1948, it was developed as such by residential developer Fritz B. Burns and industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. Burns, seeing the tremendous potential fortune that could be made as large numbers of World War II veterans came home and started families, teamed up with Kaiser in 1945 to form Kaiser Community Homes. The vast majority of the houses were bought with loans issued by the FHA or the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the G.I. Bill. Homes in the area were sold with racially discriminatory covenants. A "Conditions, Covenants, Restrictions" document filed with the county recorder declared that no Panorama City lot could be "used or occupied by any person whose blood is not entirely that of the white or Caucasian race." Such restrictive covenants, which sometimes also limited ownership to people "of the Christian faith", were common in many communities at the time, and although rendered legally unenforceable by the Civil Rights Act of 1968 they may still be found on some older property deeds. De facto integration was accelerated by the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The CRA-insured credit was provided to the entire community without regard to race or income, causing white flight as with many other areas of the San Fernando Valley. During the period of forced school busing, Panorama City was exempted due to its diversity.
In its history, Panorama City was once adjacent to General Motors' largest assembly plant to date. Today, the Van Nuys Assembly plant has been replaced with a large shopping center named The Plant, which includes stores and restaurants such as Regency Theatres, Ross, Babies "R" Us, The Home Depot, Hometown Buffet, Blaze Pizza, In-N-Out Burger, Starbucks Coffee and others.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A. project described Panorama City as an area that was "moderately diverse" ethnically, with a high percentage of Latinos and a significant number of Filipinos. At that time, the breakdown was Latinos, 70.1%; whites, 11.5%; Asians, 11.9%; blacks, 4.3%; and others, 2.2%. Mexico (52.1%) and El Salvador (13.4%) were the most common places of birth for the 55.0% of the residents who were born outside of the United States—a high percentage for Los Angeles.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Panorama City CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Panorama City CA.
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