How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Athens New York
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Athens NY is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the school’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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Athens NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums 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
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Athens NY dental practices are usually 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 complete 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind 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 available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Athens NY home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. 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 education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Athens NY, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Athens NY employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently 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 Athens NY dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 Athens NY dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Athens NY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Athens NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure 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 must go to classes near Athens NY at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Athens NY?
Athens, New York
Athens is a town in Greene County, New York, United States. The population was 4,089 at the 2010 census. The town of Athens has a village also called Athens. The town is on the eastern end of the county.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.8 square miles (74.7 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (67.8 km²) is land and 2.7 square miles (6.9 km², or 9.22%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,991 people, 1,600 households, and 1,110 families residing in the town. The population density was 152.5 people per square mile (58.9/km²). There are 1,972 housing units with an average density of 75.3 per square mile (29.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.87% White, 0.98% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.
There were 1,600 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.96.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Athens NY
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning 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 provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Athens NY.
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