How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Sunland California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Sunland CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the college’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 complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Sunland CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Sunland CA dental offices are generally required to hold 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 nearly every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Sunland CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Sunland CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify 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 training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Sunland CA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Sunland CA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical 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 Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Sunland CA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Sunland CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
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 variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Sunland CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Sunland CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Sunland CA?
Sunland-Tujunga, Los Angeles
Sunland-Tujunga /təˈhʌŋɡə/ is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles located by the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in the Crescenta Valley. Though Sunland and Tujunga began as separate settlements, they are today linked through a single police station, branch library, neighborhood council, chamber of commerce, City Council district, and high school and various civic organizations. The merging of these communities under a hyphenated name goes back as far as 1928. Sunland-Tujunga contains the highest point of the city, Mount Lukens.
The neighborhood lies between the Verdugo Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. It is contiguous on the east with La Crescenta-Montrose. Sunland and Tujunga are divided by Mount Gleason Avenue, with Sunland on the west and Tujunga on the east. Mount Lukens within Tujunga is the highest point in Los Angeles at 5,074 ft (1,547 m).
Streets within the Sunland and Tuna Canyon annex to Los Angeles were renamed in June 1929. The main east-west road, previously known as Michigan Avenue, became Foothill Boulevard. Other streets were renamed as follows: Los Angeles Street to Apperson Avenue, Sherman Street to Hartranft Avenue, Center Street to Grenoble Avenue, North Street to Wentworth Avenue, Third Street to Woodward Avenue and Hill Street to Hillrose Avenue. Sunset renamed to Commerce St. Manzanita Drive was renamed McGroarty Avenue in honor of John Steven McGroarty, who lived nearby.
In the 1960s, the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce took an active stand in opposition to routing the proposed Foothill Freeway through Shadow Hills, claiming the neighborhood's "rural atmosphere" would be destroyed and would wipe out 28 more homes than an alternate route.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Sunland CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Sunland CA.
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