Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Pinellas Park FL 33780

How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Pinellas Park Florida

Pinellas Park FL dental hygienist with patientChoosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Pinellas Park FL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Pinellas Park FL pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Pinellas Park FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients regarding oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 as well as any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist Education Options

As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Pinellas Park FL dental practices are generally 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 nearly 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Dental Hygienist Online Training

attending dental hygienist school online in Pinellas Park FLEnrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Pinellas Park FL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.

Issues to Ask Dental  Hygienist Colleges

teeth cleaned by Pinellas Park FL dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Pinellas Park FL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Pinellas Park FL employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.

Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Pinellas Park FL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at 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 Pinellas Park FL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Pinellas Park FL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience 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 dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Pinellas Park FL area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Pinellas Park FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, 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 emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Pinellas Park FL?

Pinellas Park, Florida

Pinellas Park is a city located in central Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 49,079 at the 2010 census.[5] Originally home to northern transplants and vacationers, the hundred year old city has grown into the fourth largest city in Pinellas County, the most densely-populated county in Florida. The city and surrounding areas are almost completely urbanized. Pinellas Park contains a substantial portion of the "Gateway" area of the county, targeted for future infrastructure, residential, and commercial development as it sits roughly in the middle of the Tampa Bay area's over two million people. Though technically land-locked, its borders lie only a few miles from Tampa Bay to the east, and Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. The city is known for its popular equestrian facilities and events, and many residents also participate in fishing and water activities in nearby venues. On Park Boulevard, the city's oldest street and primary thoroughfare, one can find anything from produce stalls and flea markets to high-end luxury vehicles.

The city was founded by Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis, who purchased 12,800 acres (52 km2) of Hamilton Disston's land around 1911.[6] Promotional brochures lured northerners, especially Pennsylvanians, to the town, noting the pleasant climate in the winter and the agreeable agricultural conditions. The Florida Association, a corporation, set up model farms and offered a free lot in the city with the purchase of ten acres of nearby farm land. The primary crop promoted was sugar cane. By 1912, lots in the city were being sold separately.[7] The City of Pinellas Park was formally incorporated on October 14, 1914.[8][9]

Though not on the original Orange Line Railway, Pinellas Park did have a train depot, razed in 1970, on the line between Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The city lay on the vehicle road from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Growth was moderate until after World War II, when the city's population more than tripled.[10]

Pinellas Park is located at 27°51′08″N 82°42′26″W / 27.852302°N 82.707096°W / 27.852302; -82.707096.[11] Pinellas Park city limits are contiguous with those of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, Kenneth City, and unincorporated areas of Pinellas County. Annexation into the city is voluntary by both the property owner and the City Council.

The location could not be found.

Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Pinellas Park FL

Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial 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 numerous alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Pinellas Park FL.

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