How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near West Liberty Kentucky
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near West Liberty KY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college 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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the West Liberty KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities 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
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in West Liberty KY dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your West Liberty KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in West Liberty KY, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should 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 assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. 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 ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. West Liberty KY employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local West Liberty KY dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain hands-on, practical 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 form professional relationships in the West Liberty KY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the West Liberty KY dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the West Liberty KY dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the West Liberty KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near West Liberty KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near West Liberty KY?
West Liberty, Kentucky
West Liberty is a home rule-class city in Morgan County, Kentucky, United States. It is the county seat of Morgan County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,435. It is located on the banks of the Licking River at the junction of Kentucky Route 7 and U.S. Route 460.
By 1816, an early settlement at the town site was called Wells Mills. When Morgan County was founded in 1823, the settlement was incorporated to become the county seat. It chose the name West Liberty in the belief that Pikeville, Kentucky would be called "Liberty" when it incorporated. The town is actually 100 miles east of Liberty, Kentucky.
Three Civil War skirmishes were fought near West Liberty, and much of the town was burned during the war, including the courthouse. It was replaced after the war, and a fourth courthouse was built in 1907.
On March 2, 2012, West Liberty was hit by an EF-3 tornado which caused extensive damage to the downtown area. This tornado left a swath of damage over a mile wide. Many homes and businesses were heavily damaged or destroyed. Six people were killed and at least 75 people were injured. Preliminary assessments from emergency officials and media indicated a path length of 60 miles (97 km), though a National Weather Service survey concluded the tornado travelled 85 miles from Menifee County to Lincoln County, West Virginia. It had the longest track of any tornado in the United States in 2012.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near West Liberty KY
Picking the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in West Liberty KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky