How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Redwood Estates California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Redwood Estates CA is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Redwood Estates CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Redwood Estates CA dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Redwood Estates CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Redwood Estates CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program 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. Redwood Estates CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Redwood Estates CA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain 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 create professional relationships in the Redwood Estates CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Redwood Estates CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Redwood Estates CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Redwood Estates CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Redwood Estates CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Redwood Estates CA?
Redwood Estates, California
Redwood Estates is a rural unincorporated community along State Route 17 in the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains in Los Gatos, California, United States. The Census Bureau includes it in a census-designated place named Lexington Hills. It lies inside the confines of Santa Clara County. The area is about eight miles from downtown Los Gatos and nine miles from the Santa Cruz County community of Scotts Valley.
Nearby Summit Road is roughly the dividing line between the counties: Santa Cruz County areas being generally west of Summit Rd. The Butano Fault (also known as the Butano Rift Zone), roughly follows Summit Road through the area. The ZIP code for post office boxes in Redwood Estates is 95044, although the city and ZIP code for street delivery is Los Gatos, 95033. Street addresses are usually five digits. The U.S. Geological Survey, National Geographic Names Database, lists the NAD27 coordinates of the community as 37°09′23″N 121°59′08″W / 37.15639°N 121.98556°W / 37.15639; -121.98556. The community is inside area code 408 while communities further west (but outside Redwood Estates) are in the coastal area code 831.
The architecture of homes in the community varies widely. The roads are paved, but narrow and winding when compared to modern urban streets. While area housing prices have been buoyed by rising real estate prices in Silicon Valley, the area is quiet and informal. There are few lawns: most homes have redwood duff in the front yard. Poison oak is evident in the area. There are very few storm drains, curbs, or sidewalks. Roads are framed by vegetation and wind along the contours of the area's hills. As the name implies, the area is populated by the towering redwood trees ubiquitous to the occasionally fog-shrouded areas of the California coast. Redwood roots seem to serve as informal speed bumps on many of the narrow community roads.
Business occupancies in the community include: Nonnos Italian Cafe, 21433 Broadway; Redwood Estates Store, 20121 Broadway; Redwood Mutual Water Company on Madrone Dr.; Santa Clara County Fire Department Redwood Station at 21452 Madrone Dr.; and the Redwood Estates Post Office. A traffic focal point is the SR17 interchange with Madrone Drive. Summit Road has an interchange with SR17 and approximates the southern extent of the community.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Redwood Estates CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Redwood Estates CA.
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