How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near La Fayette Kentucky
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near La Fayette KY is an essential first step toward starting 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 completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the school’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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the La Fayette KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in La Fayette KY dental offices are generally 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 finish 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your La Fayette KY home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in La Fayette KY, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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. La Fayette KY employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local La Fayette KY dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the La Fayette KY dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the La Fayette KY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with 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 programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the La Fayette KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant 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 La Fayette KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near La Fayette KY?
LaFayette, also informally written as La Fayette and Lafayette, is a home rule-class city in Christian County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 165 at the 2010 U.S. census. LaFayette is part of the Clarksville, Tennessee metropolitan area.
LaFayette was first settled in the late 1810s, and by 1820 was home to a dry goods and grocery store. It was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1836. The city was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette.
LaFayette is home to an antebellum church, the Lafayette Methodist Church. Built in 1852 by Dutch-born builder Daniel Umbenhour, the church is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
LaFayette is located along Kentucky Route 107 in the southwestern corner of Christian County, 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Hopkinsville, the Christian County seat, and 2 miles (3 km) north of the Tennessee state line. The town lies just north of the US Army's Fort Campbell.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near La Fayette KY
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in La Fayette KY.
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