Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Tampa FL 33601

How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Tampa Florida

Tampa FL dental hygienist with patientSelecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Tampa FL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the program’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 two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Tampa FL pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Tampa FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

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

To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered 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 increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Tampa FL dental offices 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 trade and vocational 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| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs

attending dental hygienist school online in Tampa FLEnrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Tampa FL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.

Issues to Cover With Dental  Hygienist Colleges

teeth cleaned by Tampa FL dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Tampa FL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Tampa FL employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Tampa FL dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, practical 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Tampa FL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Tampa FL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Tampa FL area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Tampa FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Tampa FL?

Tampa, Florida

Tampa (/ˈtæmpə/)[11] is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States.[12] It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census,[5] and an estimated population of 377,165 in 2016.[13]

Archaeological evidence indicates the shores of Tampa Bay were inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Safety Harbor culture developed in the area around the year 1000 AD, and the descendant Tocobaga and Pohoy chiefdoms were living in or near the current city limits of Tampa when the area was first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Interactions between native peoples and the Spanish were brief and often violent, and although the newcomers did not stay for long, they introduced European diseases which brought the collapse of native societies across the Florida peninsula over the ensuing decades. Although Spain claimed all of Florida and beyond as part of New Spain, it did not found a colony on the west coast. After the disappearance of the indigenous populations, there were no permanent settlements in the Tampa Bay area until after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821.

In 1824, the United States Army established a frontier outpost called Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, near the site of today's Tampa Convention Center downtown. The first civilian residents were pioneer ranchers and farmers who settled near the fort for protection from the nearby Seminole population. The town grew slowly, and had become a minor shipping port for cattle and citrus by the time of the United States Civil War. Tampa Bay was blockaded by the United States Navy during the war, and Tampa fell into a long period of economic stagnation that continued long after the war ended. The situation finally improved in the 1880s, when the first railroad links, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry jump-started its development, helping Tampa to grow from an isolated village with less than 800 residents in 1880 to a bustling city of over 30,000 by the early 1900s.

Today, Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the "Tampa Bay Area". For U.S. Census purposes, Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The four-county area is composed of roughly 2.9 million residents,[4] making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state, and the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Miami, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.[14] The Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents and generally includes the Tampa and Sarasota metro areas.

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Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist College near Tampa FL

Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Tampa FL.

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