How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Gastonia North Carolina
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Gastonia NC 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 much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties 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 Gastonia NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Gastonia NC dental offices are normally required to have 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 virtually 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Gastonia NC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. 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 necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gastonia NC, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Gastonia NC employers often prefer 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 Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Gastonia NC dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Gastonia NC dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Gastonia NC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing 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 offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Gastonia NC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Gastonia NC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Gastonia NC?
Gastonia, North Carolina
Gastonia is the largest city and county seat of Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. It is also the second largest satellite city of the Charlotte area, behind Concord. The population was 71,741 at the 2010 Census. In 2016, the population had increased to 75,536. Gastonia is the 13th largest city in North Carolina. It is part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, officially designated the Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Gastonia has experienced steady growth, with a population increase between 2000 and 2010 of nearly 8.2%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The City Hospital-Gaston Memorial Hospital, Craig Farmstead, Downtown Gastonia Historic District, First National Bank Building, Gaston County Courthouse, Gastonia High School, David Jenkins House, Loray Mill Historic District, Robinson-Gardner Building, Third National Bank Building, and William J. Wilson House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Loray Mill strike of 1929 in Gastonia, was one of the most notable strikes in the labor history of the United States. Though largely unsuccessful in attaining its goals of better working conditions and wages, the strike was considered very successful in a lasting way; it caused an immense controversy which gave the labor movement momentum, propelling the movement in its national development.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 50.7 square miles (131.4 km2), of which 50.5 square miles (130.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 0.45%, is water. Gastonia occupies 14% of the total area of Gaston County.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Gastonia NC
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Gastonia NC.
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