How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Wickliffe Kentucky
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Wickliffe KY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the college’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 complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Wickliffe KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 licensing examinations. After they have completed 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
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wickliffe KY dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Wickliffe KY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wickliffe KY, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify 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. Wickliffe KY employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Wickliffe KY dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best 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 create professional relationships in the Wickliffe KY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the schools 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 Wickliffe KY dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Wickliffe KY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wickliffe KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Wickliffe KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wickliffe KY?
Wickliffe is located at 36°58′00″N 89°05′13″W / 36.966600°N 89.086822°W / 36.966600; -89.086822 on the east bank of the Mississippi River, about two miles south of its confluence with the Ohio River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 794 people, 327 households, and 216 families residing in the city. The population density was 578.3 people per square mile (223.8/km²). There were 384 housing units at an average density of 279.7 per square mile (108.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.33% White, 1.76% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, and 2.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.
There were 327 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the city, the population was spread out with 19.0% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 112.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.4 males.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Wickliffe KY
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wickliffe KY.
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