How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Fairmont North Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Fairmont NC is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually 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 talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fairmont NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled 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
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Fairmont NC dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fairmont NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed 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 method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fairmont NC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fairmont NC employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Fairmont NC dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method 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 establish professional relationships in the Fairmont NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fairmont NC dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Fairmont NC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Fairmont NC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Fairmont NC at nights 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 making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fairmont NC?
Fairmont, North Carolina
Fairmont was founded on the site of the Ashpole Institute, a small private academy, and was chartered in 1899 as Ashpole, then Union City and lastly as Fairmont. The first settlers to this area received land grants from the Lords Proprietors and worked in the logging and naval stores industries producing lumber, turpentine and pitch for ships. The Bufort County Lumber Company opened in the northern section of town in the late 1890s employing 300 men and becoming one of the largest lumber companies in the south. By the late 19th century, a thriving tobacco market had been established as well. The railroads later followed to rapidly move these goods. By the early 20th century, tobacco became king, and by the mid-1950s, Fairmont was considered one of the major tobacco markets in the world. Based upon its 1950 population of a little over 2,000 Fairmont was considered as the "biggest little tobacco market in the world. In 1951 Fairmont sold twice as much tobacco as was grown in Robeson County. As health concerns have affected the sales of tobacco, many local farmers have turned to other cash crops, mainly corn, soybeans and wheat. The Border Belt Farmers Museum was established in 1989 by converting an unused former railroad depot into a vibrant and interesting museum filled with farming, tobacco related, and historical memorabilia. It is open five days a week (M, W, F-11:00-3:00 & T, TH 9-12:00 & 1:00-3:00). The town has recently started promoting itself as "the shortest route to the S.C. beaches" by encouraging motorists traveling south on Interstate 95 to take exit 10. The advertising campaign, utilizing a very prominent billboard on the interstate, has resulted in a higher traffic flow and increased commercial traffic to the community.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,663 people residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 56.0% Black, 26.0% White, 13.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,604 people, 1,078 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,171.4 people per square mile (452.9/km²). There were 1,186 housing units at an average density of 533.5 per square mile (206.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 30.26% White, 58.68% African American, 9.87% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.46% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.
There were 1,078 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.0% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.95.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Fairmont NC
Picking the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to 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 appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fairmont NC.
More Great Cities in North Carolina