How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Sunnyvale California
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Sunnyvale CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, including 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties 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 in support of the Sunnyvale CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each 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 may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Sunnyvale CA dental practices are often 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Sunnyvale CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Sunnyvale CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Sunnyvale CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants 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 Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Sunnyvale CA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real 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 Sunnyvale CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Sunnyvale CA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Sunnyvale CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Sunnyvale CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Sunnyvale 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Sunnyvale CA?
Sunnyvale is the seventh most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of the major cities comprising Silicon Valley. It is bordered by portions of San Jose to the north, Moffett Federal Airfield to the northwest, Mountain View to the west, Los Altos to the southwest, Cupertino to the south, and Santa Clara to the east. It lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101.
As part of California's high-tech area known as Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale is the headquarters location of many technology companies and is a major operating center for many more. It is also home to several aerospace/defense companies. Sunnyvale was also the home to Onizuka Air Force Station, often referred to as "the Blue Cube" due to the color and shape of its windowless main building. The facility, previously known as Sunnyvale Air Force Station, was named for the deceased Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka. It served as an artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces until August 2010 and has since been decommissioned and demolished.
Sunnyvale is one of the few U.S. cities to have a single unified Department of Public Safety, where all personnel are trained as firefighters, police officers, and EMTs, so they can respond to an emergency in any of the three roles.
When the Spanish first arrived in the 1770s at the Santa Clara Valley, it was heavily populated by the Ohlone Native Americans. However early on with the arrival of the Spaniards, smallpox, measles and other new diseases greatly reduced the Ohlone population. In 1777, Mission Santa Clara was founded by Franciscan missionary Padre Junipero Serra and was originally located in San Jose (near what is now the San Jose International Airport runway).
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Sunnyvale CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered 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 normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Sunnyvale CA.
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