How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Oldsmar Florida
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Oldsmar FL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the program’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Oldsmar FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once 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
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Oldsmar FL dental offices are often 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Oldsmar FL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oldsmar FL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Oldsmar FL employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most 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 choose 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, check that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Oldsmar FL dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means 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 develop professional relationships in the Oldsmar FL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Oldsmar FL dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Oldsmar FL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Oldsmar FL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Oldsmar FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oldsmar FL?
Oldsmar is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 13,591. The Oldsmar name dates to April 12, 1916 when automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds purchased 37,541 acres (151.92 km2) of land by the northern part of Tampa Bay to establish "R. E. Olds-on-the-Bay". The name was later changed to Oldsmar, then to "Tampa Shores" in 1927, and finally back to Oldsmar in 1937. Ransom Olds named some of the original streets himself, such as Gim Gong Road for Lue Gim Gong.
Oldsmar includes several parks along Tampa Bay, historic bungalows, a downtown, and a commercial area along West Hillsborough Avenue. The historical society operates a museum in Oldsmar, and the city erected a new library in 2013.
In hopes of returning to the days of "Old Florida", Oldsmar's downtown is currently undergoing redevelopment efforts. Oldsmar celebrates its history every year with Oldsmar Days and Nights, including parades, car shows (featuring the Oldsmobile), and carnival rides. Notable Oldsmar businesses include the nearby Tampa Bay Downs and the production office of Nielsen Media Research.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25.0 km2), of which 8.7 square miles (22.5 km2) is land and 0.97 square miles (2.5 km2) (9.83%) is water.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Oldsmar FL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oldsmar FL.
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