Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Santa Ana CA 92701

How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Santa Ana California

Santa Ana CA dental hygienist with patientSelecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Santa Ana CA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.

The Job of Dental Hygienists

Santa Ana CA pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen comparing 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 Santa Ana CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Instructing patients regarding oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as 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 in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Santa Ana CA dental offices are often required to have 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 vocational schools as well as community colleges. 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Dental Hygienist Online Schools

attending dental hygienist school online in Santa Ana CASelecting an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Santa Ana CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.

What to Ask Dental  Hygienist Programs

teeth cleaned by Santa Ana CA dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Santa Ana CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Santa Ana CA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in 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, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Santa Ana CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical 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 Santa Ana CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 Santa Ana CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Santa Ana CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Santa Ana CA area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Santa Ana CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Santa Ana CA?

Santa Ana, California

Santa Ana /ˌsæntə ˈænə/ (Spanish for "Saint Anne") is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California. The United States Census Bureau estimated its 2011 population at 329,427, making Santa Ana the 57th most-populous city in the United States.

Santa Ana is located in Southern California, adjacent to the Santa Ana River, about 10 miles (16 km) away from the California coast. Founded in 1869, the city is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second largest metropolitan area in the United States with almost 18 million residents in 2010. Santa Ana is a very densely populated city, ranking fourth nationally in that regard among cities of over 300,000 residents (trailing only New York City, San Francisco, and Boston). In 2011 Forbes ranked Santa Ana the fourth-safest city of over 250,000 residents in the United States.[9]

Santa Ana lends its name to the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5), which runs through the city. It also shares its name with the nearby Santa Ana Mountains, and the Santa Ana winds, which have historically fueled seasonal wildfires throughout Southern California.[10] The current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) metropolitan designation for the Orange County Area is Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, California.

After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolá out of Mexico City, then capitol of New Spain, Friar Junípero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne, or Santa Ana Valley). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano was established within this valley. This Santa Ana Valley comprised most of what is now called Orange County.

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Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Santa Ana CA

Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. 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 presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Santa Ana CA.

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