Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Santa Monica CA 90401

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

Santa Monica CA dental hygienist with patientPicking the right dental hygienist program near Santa Monica CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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. Obviously with the longer 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 colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Santa Monica CA pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Santa Monica CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating 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 licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled 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 increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Santa Monica CA dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs

attending dental hygienist school online in Santa Monica CAEnrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Santa Monica CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.

Points to Cover With Dental  Hygienist Programs

teeth cleaned by Santa Monica CA dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Santa Monica CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools 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 final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Santa Monica CA employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Santa Monica CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Santa Monica CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Santa Monica CA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Santa Monica CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending 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 private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Santa Monica CA area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Santa Monica CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need 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 due to illness, work or family issues.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Santa Monica CA?

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736.

Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations.[12]

Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language.[13] The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be. One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.[14]

In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. Following the Mexican–American War, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848.

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Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Santa Monica CA

Selecting the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Santa Monica CA.

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