How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Oxford Kansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Oxford KS is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, including 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties 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 assists the Oxford KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensure examinations. After 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 Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Oxford KS 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 finish 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Oxford KS home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oxford KS, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, 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 important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Oxford KS employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides sufficient 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 school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Oxford KS dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools 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 Oxford KS dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Oxford KS dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Oxford KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Oxford KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oxford KS?
Oxford is located at 37°16′29″N 97°10′11″W / 37.274841°N 97.169825°W / 37.274841; -97.169825 (37.274841, -97.169825). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.83 square miles (2.15 km2), all of it land. It is approximately thirty miles south of Wichita.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Oxford has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,049 people, 434 households, and 292 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,263.9 inhabitants per square mile (488.0/km2). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 583.1 per square mile (225.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 1.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 434 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.7% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.83.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Oxford KS
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oxford KS.
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