How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Walton Kentucky
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Walton KY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Walton KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as 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 as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Walton KY dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Walton KY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Walton KY, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Walton KY employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Walton KY dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain 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 create 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 need assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Walton KY dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Walton KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Walton KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Walton KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Walton KY?
Walton is located in southeastern Boone County and extends slightly into southwestern Kenton County. U.S. Route 25 (Main Street) runs through the center of the city, and Interstates 75 and 71 diverge just west of the city limits. Access to the city from I-75 is via exit 171 (Kentucky Routes 14 and 16). Downtown Cincinnati is 21 miles (34 km) to the north, Lexington is 64 miles (103 km) south via I-75, and Louisville is 82 miles (132 km) to the southwest via I-71.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,450 people, 913 households, and 665 families residing in the city. The population density was 701.4 people per square mile (271.0/km²). There were 992 housing units at an average density of 284.0 per square mile (109.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.35% White, 0.94% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.73% of the population.
There were 913 households out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.15.
The age distribution was 29.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Walton KY
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Walton KY.
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