How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Lenoir North Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Lenoir NC is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the college’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. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lenoir NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every 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 may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lenoir NC dental practices are generally 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 almost 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Lenoir NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lenoir NC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lenoir NC employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college 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, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Lenoir NC dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get 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 develop professional relationships in the Lenoir NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lenoir NC dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lenoir NC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lenoir NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Lenoir NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lenoir NC?
Lenoir, North Carolina
Lenoir is a city in Caldwell County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 18,228 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Caldwell County. Lenoir is located in the foothils of the Blue Ridge. To the northeast are the Brushy Mountains, a spur of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hibriten Mountain, located just east of the city limits, marks the western end of the Brushy Mountains range.
The city was named for Revolutionary War general and early North Carolina statesman William Lenoir, who settled north of present-day Lenoir. His restored home, Fort Defiance, is a tourist attraction.
In addition to Fort Defiance, the Caldwell County Courthouse, Lenoir Downtown Historic District, Lenoir Grammar School, Lenoir High School, Mary's Grove, and Edgar Allan Poe House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city is at the intersection of U.S. Highways 64 and 321. US 64 leads east 42 miles (68 km) to Statesville and southwest 15 miles (24 km) to Morganton, while US 321 leads north 27 miles (43 km) to Boone and southeast 17 miles (27 km) to Hickory.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Lenoir NC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative 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 a number of options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lenoir NC.
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