How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Riverton Kansas
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Riverton KS is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, for instance 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Riverton KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first 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 may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Riverton KS dental offices are usually 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 almost 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Riverton KS home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. 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 obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Riverton KS, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Riverton KS employers frequently prefer or require that new hires 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 colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Riverton KS dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical 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 build professional relationships in the Riverton KS dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs 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 Riverton KS dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Riverton KS dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public 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 textbooks and commuting 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 departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Riverton KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Riverton KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Riverton KS?
Riverton is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Cherokee County, Kansas, United States. It is located at the junction of K-66 (former U.S. Route 66) and U.S. Route 69 Alternate and U.S. Route 400, near the Spring River. It is one of only three towns in Kansas along former U.S. Route 66. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 929.
Riverton is located in southeastern Cherokee County near the southeastern corner of Kansas. Along K-66, Galena, Kansas, is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the east, and Joplin, Missouri, is 10 miles (16 km) to the east. Pittsburg, Kansas, is 23 miles (37 km) to the north via US 400 and US 69. Baxter Springs, Kansas, is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the southwest, and Miami, Oklahoma, is 20 miles (32 km) to the southwest by US 69A.
The famous Rainbow Bridge, about 2 miles (3 km) west of town, was the site where in the year 2000, musician Brad Paisley performed the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" for the TLC special "Route 66: Main Street America".
The Eisler Brothers Country Store in Riverton was one of the stops on Pixar's US 66 research trips for the 2006 film Cars. The filmmakers met with Dean Walker, then president of the Kansas Route 66 Association, who is known to twist his feet backwards 180° and walk in reverse. He became one of many inspirations for the Mater character, a rusty old tow truck who teaches NASCAR rookie Lightning McQueen to drive in reverse.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Riverton KS
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important 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 many alternatives offered to acquire 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 junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn 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 go to 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Riverton KS.
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