How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Oviedo Florida
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Oviedo FL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance 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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Oviedo FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Oviedo FL dental practices are generally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Oviedo FL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community 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 enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oviedo FL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Oviedo FL employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Oviedo FL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Oviedo FL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Oviedo FL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Oviedo FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Oviedo FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oviedo FL?
Oviedo is a city in Seminole County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 33,342, representing an increase of 7,026 (26.7%) from the 26,316 counted in the 2000 Census. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Oviedo is known for its historic houses and buildings, as well as its population of chickens that roam the downtown area. Although the city has historically been rural, in recent years it has had an influx of new developments to support its rapid growth, due to its proximity to the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Research Park. Several national publications have placed Oviedo on their nationally ranked lists as one of the best places to live in the US.
In the late 1870s, individuals living a couple miles south of Lake Jesup needed an easily accessible post office in the Florida back country. Andrew Aulin, an early settler and shop-owner, decided to file paperwork for a post office; in his first site location report he needed a unique name, one that no other post office in Florida had. Aulin liked having a Spanish name, "to go with the Spanish name of the state," and decided to name his post office location Oviedo after the city of Oviedo in northern Spain (the capital city of the Principality of Asturias) and the University of Oviedo. Some say he visited the University, others say he just liked the sound, most agree he likely pronounced it "Oh-vee-Ay-Doh" rather than the Americanized way of "Oh-VEE-doh."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²). 15.1 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (2.07%) is water. Oviedo is located about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, Fla. by highway (SR 417 and SR 408). The Econlockhatchee River runs through the east part of the city, and a tributary, the Little Econlockhatchee River, runs through the southern part of the city.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,316 people, 8,556 households, and 7,178 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,738.9 inhabitants per square mile (671.6/km²). There were 8,977 housing units at an average density of 593.2 per square mile (229.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.55% White, 8.83% African American, 0.27% Native American, 2.42% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.62% from other races, and 2.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.19% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Oviedo FL
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oviedo FL.
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