How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Maitland Florida
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Maitland FL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Maitland FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may 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 working in Maitland FL dental practices are often 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 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Maitland FL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Maitland FL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Maitland FL employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Maitland FL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical 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 establish professional relationships in the Maitland FL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Maitland FL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Maitland FL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Maitland FL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Maitland FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need 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 because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Maitland FL?
Maitland is a suburban city in Orange County, Florida, United States, part of the Greater Orlando area. The population was 15,751 at the 2010 census. The area's history is exhibited at the Maitland Historical Museum. The city also hosts the Maitland Art Center, and examples of Mayan Revival architecture and Fantasy Architecture, the Maitland Telephone Museum and the William H. Waterhouse House Museum. A SunRail station is located in Maitland on Highway 17-92. The city is named for Fort Maitland.
Maitland is one of the oldest incorporated suburban municipalities in central Florida. The area was previously inhabited by Timucuan Native Americans. The town was originally named for a nearby Lake, which honored Captain William Seton Maitland, who fought in the Second Seminole Indian War, and was slain in the battle of Wahoo Swamp. A small military outpost was built in 1838 on the western shore of Lake Fumecheliga (later Lake Maitland) during the Second Seminole War. After the Civil War, The area began to grow, and a post office opened at Lake Maitland in 1872. Around this post office, a small town grew. The area was put into extensive citrus production.
Lake Maitland was incorporated as a town in 1885, the fifth town in Orange County to do so. For many years, Lake Maitland remained rural village, beautified by large oak trees planted by early town aldermen. However, the old town began to rapidly modernize as Orlando's suburban sprawl reached the town in the mid 1920s.
A Local newspaper published during the period provides an excellent reference to the changes occurring in the decade. During this period the town grew rapidly as new houses and roads were built. In 1959, Lake Maitland was incorporated as a city. The "Lake" was officially dropped from the name at this time, although the post office changed to "Maitland" in 1901 and the town was rarely referred to as "Lake Maitland".
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Maitland FL
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Maitland FL.
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