How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near South Lake Tahoe California
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near South Lake Tahoe CA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role 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 South Lake Tahoe CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering 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 have graduated 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 licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in South Lake Tahoe CA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your South Lake Tahoe CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in South Lake Tahoe CA, you can start the process 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 schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college 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. South Lake Tahoe CA employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local South Lake Tahoe CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools 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 South Lake Tahoe CA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the South Lake Tahoe CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the South Lake Tahoe CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near South Lake Tahoe CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near South Lake Tahoe CA?
South Lake Tahoe, California
The city's population was 21,403 at the 2010 census, down from 23,609 at the 2000 census. The city extends about 5 miles (8 km) west-southwest along U.S. Route 50, also known as Lake Tahoe Boulevard. The east end of the city, on the California-Nevada state line right next to the town of Stateline, Nevada, is mainly geared towards tourism, with T-shirt shops, restaurants, hotels, and Heavenly Mountain Resort with the Nevada casinos just across the state line in Stateline. The western end of town is mainly residential, and clusters around "The Y", the X-shaped intersection of US 50, State Route 89, and the continuation of Lake Tahoe Boulevard after it loses its federal highway designation.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which 10.2 square miles (26 km2) is land and 6.4 square miles (17 km2), or 38.80%, is water. Its elevation is about 6,237 feet (1,901 m) above sea level.
The 2010 United States Census reported that South Lake Tahoe had a population of 21,403. The population density was 1,289.1 people per square mile (497.7/km²). The racial makeup of South Lake Tahoe was 15,733 (73.5%) White, 182 (0.9%) African American, 232 (1.1%) Native American, 1,186 (5.5%) Asian, 39 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 3,230 (15.1%) from other races, and 801 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,665 persons (31.1%).
There were 8,918 households, out of which 2,421 (27.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,100 (34.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 983 (11.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 594 (6.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 857 (9.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 67 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,918 households (32.7%) were made up of individuals and 652 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36. There were 4,677 families (52.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.06.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near South Lake Tahoe CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in South Lake Tahoe CA.
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