How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Paola Kansas
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Paola KS is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job 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 Paola KS practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After 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 Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Paola KS dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Paola KS home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Paola KS, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Paola KS employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Paola KS dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Paola KS dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Paola KS dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Paola KS dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, 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 significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Paola KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Paola KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Paola KS?
Native Americans, then Spanish explorers such as Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1541, and French missionary explorers in 1673 lived and traveled throughout the area of what is now Paola. Despite these early European incursions at the start of the 19th century, the area was largely controlled by the Osage people.
Settlement of the area primarily occurred, however, when Kaskaskia, Peoria, Wea, and Piankeshaw tribes were forced to move to the area between 1827 and 1832. These formed the Confederated Allied Tribe, which was led by Baptiste Peoria, who was of both French and Indian ethnicity. They called their settlement Peoria Village.
By the 1840s, Euro-American settlers were moving into the area, and several missionaries lived in and near "Peoria Village". One of those missionaries was an Italian priest who moved to the area in 1852. The priest, Father Paul D. Ponziglione, was credited with renaming Peoria Village to Paola, after a small town on the coast of Calabria, Italy. The Peoria Indians of the area continued to call it Paola, because they had great respect for Father Ponziglione.
By 1854 there was a large number of settlers who moved to the settlement, and a town plat was laid out by 1855. In 1855, the First Territorial Legislature passed an act that incorporated the Paola Town Company. The Paola Town Company and specifically its member Baptiste Peoria with his wife Mary Ann Isaacs are credited as being influential in the founding and development of Paola through the mid-1860s.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Paola KS
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly 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 schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Paola KS.
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