How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Seaside California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Seaside CA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the college’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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive 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 schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Seaside CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first 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. 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 about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Seaside CA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Seaside CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community 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 dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Seaside CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Seaside CA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Seaside CA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Seaside CA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Seaside CA dental hygienist school 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 Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Seaside CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Seaside CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Seaside CA?
Seaside (formerly East Monterey) is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, with a population of 33,025 as of the 2010 census. Seaside is located 2.25 miles (3.6 km) east-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of 33 feet (10 m). Seaside is the home of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Monterey College of Law, which are located on the site of the former military base Fort Ord. There you will find the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses, once also part of the Fort Ord military base, now open to the public, and host to PGA Tour events, including the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship. Seaside is also the gateway to the Fort Ord National Monument Park, created on April 20, 2012. It has a rich history, diverse habitat, bountiful recreation opportunities, and helps protect and manage 83 miles of trails and over 44 species of plants and animals.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.2 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.48%) is water. According to the maps of the United States Geological Survey, the elevation ranges from 0 to 165 meters (0 to 541 feet).
The climate is a cool Mediterranean type, strongly influenced by the prevailing winds from the west, which blow over the Pacific Coast's cool ocean currents from Alaska. At the nearest National Weather Service Climate Station, in the City of Monterey at 385 feet elevation: The coldest month is January, with an average daily high of 15.5 °C (59.9 °F); the warmest month is September, with an average daily high of 22 °C (72 °F); the average daily low is 6 °C (43 °F) in January and 11.5 °C (52.7 °F) in September; and the average rainfall is 50 centimeters (20 inches) per year, with 90.3% falling during November through April. The weather can be much hotter when the winds blow from the east: Since 1906, there have been 11 days with a high of 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) or higher; all 11 days occurred in June, September, or October.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Seaside has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Seaside CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish 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 options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Seaside CA.
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