How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Seneca Kansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Seneca KS is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Seneca 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 first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering 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 almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled 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 additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Seneca KS dental practices are often 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 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Seneca KS home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Seneca KS, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Seneca KS employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Seneca KS dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical 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 Seneca KS dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Seneca KS dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Seneca KS dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Seneca KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Seneca KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, 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 Seneca KS?
Seneca grew up along the wagon route from St. Joseph, Missouri to Oregon and California. British explorer Richard Francis Burton en route to California in 1860 passed through town and noted: "... Seneca, a city consisting of a few shanties ..."
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,991 people, 908 households, and 509 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,221.5 inhabitants per square mile (471.6/km2). There were 982 housing units at an average density of 602.5 per square mile (232.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.6% White, 0.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 908 households of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.9% were non-families. 40.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.84.
The median age in the city was 49.2 years. 20.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.3% were from 25 to 44; 28.7% were from 45 to 64; and 28.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist College near Seneca KS
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Seneca KS.
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