How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Cary North Carolina
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Cary NC is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including 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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Cary NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial 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 also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Cary NC dental offices are generally 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 virtually every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Cary NC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cary NC, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though 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 reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program 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. Cary NC employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Cary NC dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method 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 develop professional relationships in the Cary NC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Cary NC dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Cary NC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Cary NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Cary NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cary NC?
Cary, North Carolina
Cary /ˈkæri/ is the seventh-largest municipality in North Carolina. Cary is predominantly in Wake County, with a small area in Chatham County in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is the county's second-largest municipality, as well as the third-largest municipality in The Triangle of North Carolina after Raleigh and Durham.
The town's population was 135,234 as of the 2010 census (an increase of 43.1% since 2000), making it the largest town and seventh-largest municipality statewide. As of April 2018, the town's estimated population was 162,025, though Cary was still considered a town because that is how it was registered with the state. Cary is the second most populous incorporated town (behind only Gilbert, Arizona) in the United States.
According to the US Census Bureau, Cary was the 5th fastest-growing municipality in the United States between September 1, 2006, and September 1, 2007. In 2015 Cary had a low crime rate of 84 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, had a violent crime rate of 648 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, almost 8 times higher than Cary.
Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill make up the three primary metropolitan areas of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional nickname of "The Triangle" originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, primarily located in Durham County, four miles from downtown Durham. RTP is bordered on three sides by the city of Durham and is roughly midway between the cities of Raleigh and Chapel Hill, and the three major research universities of NC State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Cary NC
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative 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 receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training 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 two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cary NC.
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