How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Fountain Colorado
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Fountain CO is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job 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 Fountain CO dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once 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
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fountain CO dental offices are normally 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 virtually 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Fountain CO home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fountain CO, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges 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 ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. 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 Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fountain CO employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish 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 subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Fountain CO dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fountain CO dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Fountain CO dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 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 examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fountain CO area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Fountain CO in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fountain CO?
Fountain is located 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Colorado Springs and just east of Fort Carson. Fountain and the Colorado Springs suburbs Security and Widefield make up the "Fountain Valley" community.
In 1999, Fountain was chosen as "America's Millennium City" by The New York Times. Fountain was named an "All-America City" in 2002 by the National Civic League. The city is the home of Pikes Peak International Raceway.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.0 square miles (62.2 km2), of which 24.0 square miles (62.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.15%, is water. The eponymous Fountain Creek flows south through the city.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,197 people, 5,039 households, and 4,061 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,085.7 people per square mile (419.1/km²). There were 5,219 housing units at an average density of 372.9 per square mile (143.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.07% White, 8.74% African American, 1.41% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.55% Pacific Islander, 6.71% from other races, and 5.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.06% of the population.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Fountain CO
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fountain CO.
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Morrissey was a co-author of a study last year that estimated 8% of dental hygienists left the workforce in 2020. A year later, some had returned. But hygienist Sarah Crow, who's the president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienist Association, says many of her older colleagues aren't coming back.