Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Fernandina Beach FL 32034

How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Fernandina Beach Florida

Fernandina Beach FL dental hygienist with patientChoosing the right dental hygienist college near Fernandina Beach FL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.

The Job of Dental Hygienists

Fernandina Beach FL pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fernandina Beach FL practice and the dentists. 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 sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients regarding oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

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. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist Education Options

Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fernandina Beach FL dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Hygienist Schools

attending dental hygienist school online in Fernandina Beach FLEnrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fernandina Beach FL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Dental  Hygienist Programs

teeth cleaned by Fernandina Beach FL dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fernandina Beach FL, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best 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 program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fernandina Beach 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 Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Fernandina Beach FL dental office that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical 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 form professional relationships in the Fernandina Beach FL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fernandina Beach FL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Fernandina Beach FL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

 What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to 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 Fernandina Beach FL area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Fernandina Beach FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fernandina Beach FL?

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Fernandina Beach is a city in Nassau County, Florida, United States, on Amelia Island. It is the northernmost city on Florida's Atlantic coast, and is one of the principal municipalities comprising Greater Jacksonville. The area was first inhabited by the Timucuan Indian tribe. Located on Amelia Island, known as the "Isle of 8 Flags", Fernandina has had the flags of the following nations flown over it since 1562: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Republic of Florida, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. It is the only municipality in the United States that has flown eight different national flags.[5]

Prior to the arrival of Europeans on what is now Amelia Island, the site of the original town of Fernandina was occupied by Native Americans.[7] Native American bands associated with the Timucuan mound-building culture had settled on the island about A.D. 1000, calling it Napoyca. They remained on the island until the early 18th century, when European settlement began there.

French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault became the first recorded European visitor to Napoyca in 1562, which he named Isle de Mai. In 1565, Spanish forces led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés drove the French from northeastern Florida, killing Ribault and approximately 350 other French colonists. In 1573, Spanish Franciscans established the Santa Maria mission on the island, which they called Isla de Santa Maria. The mission was abandoned in 1680 after the inhabitants refused a Spanish order to relocate. British raids forced the relocation of the Santa Catalina de Guale mission on Georgia's St. Catherines Island, to the abandoned Santa Maria mission on the island in 1685. In 1702, this mission was again abandoned when South Carolina's colonial governor, James Moore, led a joint British-Indian invasion of Florida.

Georgia's founder and colonial governor, James Oglethorpe, renamed the island "Amelia Island" in honor of Princess Amelia (1711–1786), King George II's daughter, although the island was still a Spanish possession. In 1736, James Oglethorpe, the governor of Georgia, ordered Fort Amelia to be built at the mouth of the St. Marys River to house a garrison of Scottish Highlanders.[8][9] After establishing a small settlement on the northwestern edge of the island, Oglethorpe negotiated with Spanish colonial officials for a transfer of the island to British sovereignty. Colonial officials agreed to the transfer, but the King of Spain rescinded the agreement.

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Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Fernandina Beach FL

Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fernandina Beach FL.

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