How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near North Palm Beach Florida
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near North Palm Beach FL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
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 independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the North Palm Beach FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in North Palm Beach FL dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your North Palm Beach FL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in North Palm Beach FL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify 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 training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. North Palm Beach FL employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local North Palm Beach FL dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective 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 professional relationships in the North Palm Beach FL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges 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 Palm Beach FL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the North Palm Beach FL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the North Palm Beach FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near North Palm Beach FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near North Palm Beach FL?
North Palm Beach, Florida
North Palm Beach is an incorporated village in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 12,015 at the 2010 census. The village won an award from the National Association of Home Builders as best planned community of 1956. The North Palm Beach Country Club is home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course.
In 1954 for $5.5 million John D. MacArthur bought 2,600 acres (11 km2) of land in northern Palm Beach County that had been owned originally by Harry Seymour Kelsey and later by Sir Harry Oakes. The land included most of today's North Palm Beach as well as Lake Park, Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach Shores. MacArthur then began developing what is now North Palm Beach, which sat on former mangrove swamps and farm land. The area was punctuated only by Monet Road and Johnson Dairy Road to the north and south and US 1 and Prosperity Farms Road to the east and west.
Full-scale development and incorporation as a village occurred nearly simultaneously in 1956, with extensive dredging creating waterfront cul-de-sacs, and the development of a new east-west artery, Lighthouse Drive, connecting Old Dixie Highway and the newly aligned US 1. US 1 was widened and became the main office and civic corridor. Sir Harry Oakes' castle-like home on US 1 became the clubhouse for the North Palm Beach Country Club, which is located on the village island surrounded by the Inter-coastal Waterway reached by three bridges Lighthouse Drive bridge to the West, the Earmon River bridge to the south, and the Parker drawbridge to the north.
In 1958-1959, North Palm Beach elected Walter E. Thomas, Jr. as its first Mayor. Walter and his wife Jackie and four children (Ted, Larry, Jim, and Pam) were the 55th family to move into the Village, arriving in 1957.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near North Palm Beach FL
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose 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 in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in North Palm Beach FL.
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