How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Pleasanton California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Pleasanton CA is an essential initial 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties 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 Pleasanton CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Pleasanton 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 finish 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Pleasanton CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Pleasanton CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Pleasanton CA employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Pleasanton CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive 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 build professional relationships in the Pleasanton CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Pleasanton CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Pleasanton CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Pleasanton CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Pleasanton CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, 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 work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Pleasanton CA?
Pleasanton is a city in Alameda County, California, incorporated in 1894. It is a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Oakland, and 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Livermore. The population was 70,285 at the 2010 census. In 2005 and 2007, Pleasanton was ranked the wealthiest middle-sized city in the United States by the Census Bureau. Pleasanton is home to the headquarters of Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Other major employers include Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Oracle, Nordstrom and Macy's. Although Oakland is the Alameda County seat, a few county offices and a courthouse are located in Pleasanton. The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located in Pleasanton, where the county fair is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is located on the west side of town.
Pleasanton was ranked number 4 in USA Today's list of "America's 50 best cities to live in" in 2014, number 63 in Money's list of "The Best Places to Live" in 2010, and was named one of "Americans' Top Hometown Spots" in the United States in 2009 by Forbes. Pleasanton was named the third wealthiest city in terms of earnings in the United States by NerdWallet in 2013.
Before the establishment of Pleasanton in the 1850s, an earlier settlement in the location was called Alisal. It was located on the lands of the Rancho Santa Rita near the site of an Indian ranchera, around the Francisco Solano Alviso Adobe, called El Alisal (The Sycamores), one of the earliest houses built in the valley in 1844. It is still standing and serves as the centerpiece of the Alviso Adobe Community Park. Alisal, nicknamed "The Most Desperate Town in the West", was one of the settlements located along La Vereda del Monte that was a haunt and refuge of bandits and desperados in the era following the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Main Street shootouts were not uncommon. Banditos such as Claudio Feliz and Joaquin Murrieta would ambush prospectors on their way back from the gold rush fields and then seek refuge in Alisal. In the 1860s Procopio, Narciso Bojorques and others took refuge there.
Pleasanton is located on the lands of the Rancho Valle de San José and Rancho Santa Rita Mexican land grants. Its name came from John W. Kottinger, an Alameda County justice of the peace, who named it after his friend, Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton. A typographical error by a U.S. Postal Service employee apparently led to the current spelling.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Pleasanton CA
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect 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 ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Pleasanton CA.
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