How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Westlake Village California
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Westlake Village CA is an essential 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 much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance 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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Westlake Village CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains 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
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Westlake Village CA dental offices are usually 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 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Westlake Village CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Westlake Village CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Westlake Village CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Westlake Village CA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive 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 establish professional relationships in the Westlake Village CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Westlake Village CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Westlake Village CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Westlake Village CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Westlake Village CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Westlake Village CA?
Westlake Village, California
Westlake Village is a city in Los Angeles County on its western border with Ventura County. The population was estimated to be at 8,473 in 2014, up from 8,368 at the 2000 census. The headquarters of the Dole Food Company is also located in Westlake Village.
The original community was known simply as "Westlake". Roughly two-thirds of it was annexed by the city of Thousand Oaks in two portions, in 1968 and 1972. In 1981, the remaining third eventually incorporated as the City of Westlake Village.
Chumash Indians were the first to settle in what is now Westlake Village. It was home to a Chumash settlement known as Hipuk. About 3,000 years ago, Chumash Indians moved into the region and lived by hunting rabbits and other game, and gathering grains and acorns. On-going excavations, archaeological sites, and polychrome rock paintings in the area provide a glimpse into the social and economic complexity of the ancient Chumash world.
In January, 1770, the first Europeans came to the area. Captain Gaspar de Portolà's party of Spanish explorers and missionaries traveled through the area from west to east, camping one night near a Chumash village, believed to be the site of present-day Westlake Village. Father Juan Crespí, chaplain and diarist of the expedition, wrote: "We are on a plain of considerable extent and much beauty, forested on all parts by live oaks and oak trees, with much pasturage and water." Crespi named the place El triunfo del Dulcísimo Nombre de Jesús (in English: The Triumph of the Sweetest Name of Jesus) to a camping place by a creek – today's Triunfo Canyon Road begins between Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village (see Conejo Valley). Later Spanish travelers also used this route, making it part of El Camino Real (today's U.S. Route 101).
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Westlake Village CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Westlake Village CA.
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