How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Frankfort Kentucky
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Frankfort KY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Frankfort KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Frankfort KY dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 aspect 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 program may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Frankfort KY home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Frankfort KY, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Frankfort KY employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Frankfort KY dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Check 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 Frankfort KY dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Frankfort KY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Frankfort KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Frankfort KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Frankfort KY?
Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the seat of Franklin County. It is a home rule-class city in Kentucky; the population was 25,527 at the 2010 census. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Franklin and Anderson counties.
The town of Frankfort likely received its name from an event that took place in the 1780s. American Indians attacked a group of early European-American pioneers from Bryan Station, who were making salt at a ford in the Kentucky River. Pioneer Stephen Frank was killed, and the settlers thereafter called the crossing "Frank's Ford." This name was later elided to Frankfort.
In 1786, James Wilkinson purchased the 260-acre (1.1 km2) tract of land on the north side of the Kentucky River, which developed as downtown Frankfort. He was an early promoter of Frankfort as the state capital.
After Kentucky became the 15th state in early 1792, five commissioners from various counties were appointed on June 20 to choose a location for the capital. They were John Allen and John Edwards (both from Bourbon County), Henry Lee (from Mason), Thomas Kennedy (from Madison), and Robert Todd (from Fayette). A number of communities competed for this honor, but Frankfort won. According to early histories, the offer of Andrew Holmes' log house as capitol for seven years, a number of town lots, £50 worth of locks and hinges, 10 boxes of glass, 1,500 pounds of nails, and $3,000 in gold helped the decision go to Frankfort.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Frankfort KY
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Frankfort KY.
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