Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Edgewater FL 32132

How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Edgewater Florida

Edgewater FL dental hygienist with patientSelecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Edgewater FL is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the college’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.

The Job of Dental Hygienists

Edgewater FL pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Edgewater FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting 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 area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure 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 Education Options

Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Edgewater FL dental offices are usually required to have 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.

Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs

attending dental hygienist school online in Edgewater FLSelecting an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Edgewater FL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.

Points to Ask Dental  Hygienist Colleges

teeth cleaned by Edgewater FL dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Edgewater FL, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school 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 planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Edgewater FL employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Edgewater FL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.

Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Edgewater FL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. 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 Edgewater FL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall 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 variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Edgewater FL area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Edgewater FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Edgewater FL?

Edgewater, Florida

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Choose the Right Dental Hygienist School near Edgewater FL

Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Edgewater FL.

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