How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Palmer Lake Colorado
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Palmer Lake CO is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Palmer Lake CO practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also 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
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Palmer Lake 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 almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Palmer Lake CO home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional 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 online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Palmer Lake CO, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid 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 college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Palmer Lake CO employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides adequate 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 program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Palmer Lake CO dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges 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 Palmer Lake CO dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Palmer Lake CO dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can 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 fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Palmer Lake CO area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist 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 Palmer Lake CO at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Palmer Lake CO?
Palmer Lake, Colorado
Palmer Lake is a Statutory Town in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 2,420 at the 2010 census. Palmer Lake was founded by General William Jackson Palmer in 1871 and was incorporated in 1889.
Palmer Lake is one of three communities in the Tri-Lakes region between Denver and Colorado Springs. The three lakes are Palmer Lake, Monument Lake, and Lake Woodmoor. Located off Interstate 25 near two major metropolitan centers, Palmer Lake is a growing community on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Downtown Palmer Lake, though small, features cozy restaurants, such as O'Malley's Steakhouse and Pub on Colorado Highway 105, Speedtrap Coffee & Bistro, Dex’s Dogs Cafe, and LaRosa Mexican. There are also a library, town hall, and an historical museum. Visitors can enjoy a coffee shop, bakery, antique shopping, and boutiques. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, a nonprofit fine arts venue, features rotating art exhibitions and concert events with nationally-recognized artists.
The town's water comes from two reservoirs in the mountains behind the town and from wells. Both reservoirs and Monument Creek, which flows out of them, are considered part of the town's watershed. The town's namesake lake dried up completely during the summer of 2012 due to ongoing extreme drought conditions,. Local citizens investigated various ways to fill the lake and keep it healthy on a permanent basis. However, the town's Board of Trustees held a firm stance against transferring water from the reservoirs to be stored in the lake, asking "Should our water supply be protected for the health and safety of all of our citizens, or should it be utilized for mostly aesthetic purposes?" They provided no indication of what a valid purpose to keep they lake full might be. Downtown businesses and resident morale suffered greatly due to the lack of any surface water within city limits. By 2014, the lake was nearly dry again 
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Palmer Lake CO
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is important 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 numerous options offered to receive your training 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Palmer Lake CO.
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