How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Salem Kentucky
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Salem KY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, such as the program’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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Salem KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Salem 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 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Salem KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Salem KY, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Salem KY employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers enough 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, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Salem KY dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Salem KY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Salem KY dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Salem KY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Salem KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Salem KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Salem KY?
Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. Salem is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. The population was 752 during the U.S. Census, down from 769 in 2000. It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.
The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.'s seat in 1809 but was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842 after the removal of Crittenden Co. left it more centrally-located.
Salem is located at 37°15′53″N 88°14′28″W / 37.26472°N 88.24111°W / 37.26472; -88.24111 (37.264694, -88.241221). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 769 people, 322 households, and 202 families residing in the city. The population density was 987.6 people per square mile (380.7/km²). There were 370 housing units at an average density of 475.2 per square mile (183.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.22% White, 0.26% African American, 0.13% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist School near Salem KY
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program 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 a number of alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Salem KY.
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