How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Gracey Kentucky
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Gracey KY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional 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 roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Gracey KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may 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
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Gracey KY dental practices are normally required to hold 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 virtually 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 dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a viable option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Gracey KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office 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 mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gracey KY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Gracey KY employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Gracey KY dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Gracey KY dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Gracey KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in 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 fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Gracey KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Gracey KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, 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 because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Gracey KY?
Kentucky Route 117
Select the Best Dental Hygienist School near Gracey KY
Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount 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 obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Gracey KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 6