How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near North Fort Myers Florida
Picking the right dental hygienist college near North Fort Myers FL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental 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 Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the North Fort Myers FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled 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
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in North Fort Myers FL dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your North Fort Myers FL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in North Fort Myers FL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help 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 valid 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 almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. North Fort Myers FL employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local North Fort Myers FL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive 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 create professional relationships in the North Fort Myers FL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the North Fort Myers FL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the North Fort Myers FL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the North Fort Myers FL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near North Fort Myers FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, 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 North Fort Myers FL?
North Fort Myers, Florida
North Fort Myers is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 36,609 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 39,407 people, 19,788 households, and 12,539 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 764.2 people per square mile (295.1/km²). There were 25,284 housing units at an average density of 480.5/sq mi (185.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.49% White, 0.93% African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.90% of the population.
There were 19,654 households out of which 12.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.47.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 12.9% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 16.7% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 42.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 60 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near North Fort Myers FL
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in North Fort Myers FL.
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