How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Highland Kansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Highland KS is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze 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 school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Highland KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching 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 have graduated 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 examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Highland KS dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. 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 desktop computer in the comfort of your Highland KS home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Highland KS, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Highland KS employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Highland KS dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical 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 Highland KS dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Highland KS dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Highland KS dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Highland KS area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Highland KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Highland KS?
Highland is located at 39°51′36″N 95°16′1″W / 39.86000°N 95.26694°W / 39.86000; -95.26694 (39.860042, -95.266816). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.53 square miles (1.37 km2), all land.
At the 2010 census, there were 1,012 people, 296 households and 155 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,909.4 inhabitants per square mile (737.2/km2). There were 372 housing units at an average density of 701.9 per square mile (271.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.7% White, 10.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
There were 296 households of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.6% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.94.
The median age in the city was 21.8 years. 12.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 41.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 14.6% were from 25 to 44; 17.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The sex makeup of the city was 53.3% male and 46.7% female.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Highland KS
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain 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 community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Highland KS.
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