How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Highland New York
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Highland NY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Highland NY 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 first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Highland NY dental offices are normally required to hold 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Highland NY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Highland NY, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing 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 many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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. Highland NY employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program 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, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Highland NY dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive 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 build professional relationships in the Highland NY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Highland NY dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Highland NY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Highland NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Highland NY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Highland NY?
Highland, New York
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Highland NY
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Highland NY.
More Great Cities in New York
Business Results 1 - 10 of 35