How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Ottawa Kansas
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Ottawa 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job 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 assists the Ottawa KS practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed 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 added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Ottawa KS dental practices 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 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Ottawa KS home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Ottawa KS, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Ottawa KS employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Ottawa KS dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive 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 create professional relationships in the Ottawa KS dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Ottawa KS dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Ottawa KS dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Ottawa KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Ottawa KS 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Ottawa KS?
Ottawa is a city in, and the county seat of, Franklin County, Kansas, United States. It is located on both banks of the Marais des Cygnes River near the center of Franklin County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,649.
The name derives from the Ottawa tribe of Indians, on whose reservation the city was laid out. In the spring of 1864, title to the land was obtained from the tribe through treaty connected to the founding of Ottawa University, the Ottawa having donated 20,000 acres of land to establish and fund a school for the education of Indians and non-Indians alike. The word Ottawa itself means “to trade”. In 1867, the Ottawa tribe sold their remaining land in Kansas and moved to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
Ottawa has a history of flooding because of its location straddling the Marais Des Cygnes river. The area's first recorded flood was the Great Flood of 1844. In 1928, a flood crested at 38.65 feet and killed six people. Other flood years include 1904, when water crested at 36 feet and ran to a man’s shoulders in the Santa Fe depot; 1909, cresting at 36.3 feet (11.1 m); 1915, cresting at 31 feet (9.4 m), and 1944, cresting at 36.5 feet (11.1 m).
However, it is the Great Flood of 1951 which is the most famous. It was about five inches higher than the 1928 flood. The flood of 1951 affected much of Missouri and Kansas and 41 people died. One-third of Ottawa was covered because of this flood.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Ottawa KS
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Ottawa KS.
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