How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Beverly Kentucky
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Beverly KY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Beverly KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Beverly KY dental offices are often required to hold 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Beverly KY home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Beverly KY, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Beverly KY employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Beverly KY dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Beverly KY dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Beverly KY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 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 expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Beverly KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Beverly KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Beverly KY?
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist College near Beverly KY
Selecting 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 several alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 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 decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Beverly KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky