How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Hazard Kentucky
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Hazard KY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Hazard KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. 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
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Hazard KY dental practices are generally required to have 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 almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Hazard KY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical 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 get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hazard KY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order 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 of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hazard KY employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Hazard KY dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 develop professional relationships in the Hazard KY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hazard KY dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Hazard KY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Hazard KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Hazard KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hazard KY?
Local landowner Elijah Combs Sr. laid out the town in 1824 as the planned seat of the newly established Perry County. Both the town and the county were named for Cdre. Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. The post office was initially known as Perry Court House but the name was officially changed to Hazard in 1854. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1884.
Long isolated by the surrounding mountains, Hazard was opened to the outside world by the arrival of the railroad in 1912. The only access to the valley had previously been 45 miles down the North Fork of the Kentucky River or a two-week trip over the surrounding mountains. The railroad brought boom times to the town, but the Great Depression saw prosperity end as quickly as it had begun.
In 1981, several cast members of the television series The Dukes of Hazzard – viz., Catherine Bach, James Best, Sorrell Booke and Rick Hurst – visited Hazard during its Black Gold Festival. Soon afterwards, the series' stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider made appearances in Hazard.
Although there has been a steady decline in Hazard's population since the 1950s, there have been numerous commercial and residential developments within the city. The city is also actively working on a downtown renaissance plan to rejuvenate its business district. Nonetheless, in July 1999, Hazard was the first stop on President Bill Clinton's tour of poverty-stricken communities that had failed to share in the boom of the 1990s. Hillary Clinton visited Hazard on November 2, 2008, at a political rally for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Hazard KY
Picking the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hazard KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky