How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Lexington Kentucky
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Lexington KY is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the college’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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental 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 Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lexington KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When 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 additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lexington KY dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lexington KY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lexington KY, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program 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. Lexington KY employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Lexington KY dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method 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 Lexington KY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lexington KY dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Lexington KY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lexington KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Lexington KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, 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 have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lexington KY?
Lexington, consolidated with Fayette County and often denoted as Lexington-Fayette, is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the United States. By land area, Lexington is the 28th largest city in the United States. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," it is the heart of the state's Bluegrass region. With a mayor-alderman form of government, it is one of two cities in Kentucky designated by the state as first-class; the other is the state's largest city of Louisville.[a] In the 2016 U.S. Census Estimate, the city's population was 318,449, anchoring a metropolitan area of 606,751 people and a combined statistical area of 856,849 people.
Lexington ranks 10th among US cities in college education rate, with 39.5% of residents having at least a bachelor's degree. It is the location of the Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile, and Keeneland race courses, Rupp Arena, the world's largest basketball-specific arena, Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
This area of fertile soil and abundant wildlife was long occupied by varying tribes of Native Americans. European explorers began to trade with them, but settlers did not come in large numbers until the late 18th century.
Lexington was founded by European Americans in June 1775, in what was then considered Fincastle County, Virginia, 17 years before Kentucky became a state. A party of frontiersmen, led by William McConnell, camped on the Middle Fork of Elkhorn Creek (now known as Town Branch and rerouted under Vine Street) at the site of the present-day McConnell Springs. Upon hearing of the colonists' victory in the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, they named their campsite Lexington. It was the first of many American places to be named after the Massachusetts town. The risk of Native American attacks delayed permanent settlement for four years.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Lexington KY
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lexington KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky
Business Results 1 - 10 of 32