How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Santa Rosa California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Santa Rosa CA is an essential 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 much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the school’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 finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Santa Rosa CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 as well as any state licensing exams. When 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
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Santa Rosa CA dental offices are usually 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 complete 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Santa Rosa CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Santa Rosa CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. 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 Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Santa Rosa CA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Santa Rosa CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Santa Rosa CA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Santa Rosa CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Santa Rosa CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Santa Rosa CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, 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 need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Santa Rosa CA?
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa (lit. Spanish for "Saint Rose") is a city in and the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. Its estimated 2016 population was 175,155. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Redwood Empire, Wine Country and the North Bay; the fifth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 28th most populous city in California.
Santa Rosa was founded in 1833 and named after Saint Rose of Lima. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Santa Rosa Plain was home to a strong and populous tribe of Pomo natives known as the Bitakomtara. The Bitakomtara controlled the area closely, barring passage to others until permission was arranged. Those who entered without permission were subject to harsh penalties. The tribe gathered at ceremonial times on Santa Rosa Creek near present-day Spring Lake Regional Park. Upon the arrival of Europeans, the Pomos were decimated by smallpox brought from Europe, and by the eradication efforts of Anglo settlers. By 1900 the Pomo population had decreased by 95%.
The first known permanent European settlement of Santa Rosa was the homestead of the Carrillo family, in-laws to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who settled the Sonoma pueblo and Petaluma area. In the 1830s, during the Mexican period, the family of María López de Carrillo built an adobe house on their Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa land grant, just east of what later became downtown Santa Rosa. Allegedly, however, by the 1820s, before the Carrillos built their adobe in the 1830s, Spanish and Mexican settlers from nearby Sonoma and other settlements to the south raised livestock in the area and slaughtered animals at the fork of the Santa Rosa Creek and Matanzas Creek, near the intersection of modern-day Santa Rosa Avenue and Sonoma Avenue. This is supposedly the origin of the name of Matanzas Creek as, because of its use as a slaughtering place, the confluence came to be called La Matanza.
By the 1850s, a Wells Fargo post and general store were established in what is now downtown Santa Rosa. In the mid-1850s, several prominent locals, including Julio Carrillo, son of Maria Carrillo, laid out the grid street pattern for Santa Rosa with a public square in the center, a pattern which largely remains as the street pattern for downtown Santa Rosa to this day, despite changes to the central square, now called Old Courthouse Square.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Santa Rosa CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 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 elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Santa Rosa CA.
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