How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Estero Florida
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Estero FL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the school’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 finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties 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 Estero FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Estero FL dental practices are often 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 nearly 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for obtaining your training. 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 provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Estero FL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Estero FL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Estero FL employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Estero FL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Estero FL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Estero FL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs 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 Estero FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Estero FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Estero FL?
Estero is a village in Lee County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP (Census Designated Population) was 18,176. It is the home of Germain Arena, which hosts the home games for the Florida Everblades ECHL ice hockey team. Florida Gulf Coast University is also located just outside the Estero Planning District.
Estero was established and incorporated by the followers of Cyrus Teed, who proposed a theory that we live on the inside of the Earth's outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth. This theory, which he called Koreshan Unity, drew followers to purchase and occupy a 320-acre (1.3 km2) tract in 1894. They were business-oriented and lived communally, prospering enough to found their own political party ("The Progressive Liberty Party") and incorporate the town on September 1, 1904 as Estero.
The 1908 death of Dr. Teed (who claimed to be immortal) was a critical blow to the group's faith, whose membership dwindled into the 1960s. The Foundation remains as "The College of Life Foundation," which contributed (for example) at least $25,000 to the Gulf Shore Playhouse in or around 2007. The Koreshans' original tract is now owned by Florida as the Koreshan State Historic Site. Estero is now an incorporated area of Lee County, as of December 2014, and is known as the Village of Estero.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 20.0 square miles (52 km2), of which 20.0 square miles (52 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.24%) is water.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near Estero FL
Choosing the right 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 options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Estero FL.
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