How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near San Francisco California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near San Francisco CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the San Francisco CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in San Francisco CA dental offices are generally 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 nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember 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 provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your San Francisco CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in San Francisco CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. San Francisco CA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides enough 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, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local San Francisco CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools 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 San Francisco CA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the San Francisco CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the San Francisco CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near San Francisco CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near San Francisco CA?
San Francisco (initials SF; /ˌsæn frənˈsɪskoʊ, fræn-/, Spanish for 'Saint Francis'; Spanish: [san franˈsisko]), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California and the 13th-most populous in the United States, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 884,363. The consolidated city-county is also the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four New York City boroughs. As of 2016, it was the 7th highest-income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $110,418.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.
A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist, and Weather Underground. It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco (USF), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the California Academy of Sciences.
San Francisco has several nicknames, including "The City by the Bay", "Golden Gate City", "Frisco", "SF", "San Fran", and "Fog City", as well as older ones like "The City that Knows How", "Baghdad by the Bay", "The Paris of the West", or, as locals call it, "The City". As of 2017[update], San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near San Francisco CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want 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 alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in San Francisco CA.
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