How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Castle Rock Colorado
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Castle Rock CO is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Castle Rock CO dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Castle Rock CO dental practices are usually required to hold 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind 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 accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Castle Rock CO home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Castle Rock CO, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to 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 evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Castle Rock CO employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Castle Rock CO dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical 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 develop professional relationships in the Castle Rock CO dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Castle Rock CO dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average 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, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Castle Rock CO dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Castle Rock CO area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Castle Rock CO in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Castle Rock CO?
Castle Rock, Colorado
Castle Rock is an affluent home rule municipality that is the county seat of Douglas County, Colorado, United States. The most populous municipality of the county, the community's population was 48,231 at the 2010 United States Census, with an estimated population of 55,747 as of 2014. It is named for the prominent, castle tower-shaped butte near the center of town. Located midway between Denver and Colorado Springs, Castle Rock is part of the Denver Metropolitan Area and the Front Range Urban Corridor.
White settlers were drawn to the area by rumors of gold and by land opened through the Homestead Act of 1862. However, it was the discovery of rhyolite stone, not gold, that ultimately led to the settlement of Castle Rock.
One of the first homesteaders in the area near today's Castle Rock was Jeremiah Gould. He owned about 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the south of "The (Castle) Rock." At that time, the settlement consisted of just a few buildings for prospectors, workers, and cowboys. In 1874, Jeremiah Gould donated 120 acres (0.49 km2) to the new town that was also now home to the Douglas County government. For the beginning the six streets named Elbert, Jerry, Wilcox, Perry, Castle and Front were laid out to build the actual town of Castle Rock. The Courthouse Square was defined and about 77 lots, each 50 by 112 feet (34 m), were auctioned off for a total profit of US$3,400.
Castle Rock is located at 39°22′20″N 104°51′22″W / 39.37222°N 104.85611°W / 39.37222; -104.85611 (39.372212, -104.856090) at an elevation of 6,224 feet (1,897 m). Located in central Colorado at the junction of Interstate 25 and State Highway 86, Castle Rock is 28 mi (45 km) south of downtown Denver and 37 mi (60 km) north of Colorado Springs.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Castle Rock CO
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial 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 many alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose 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 better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Castle Rock CO.
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