How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Lowell North Carolina
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Lowell NC is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the program’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lowell NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal 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 report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. When 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
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lowell 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 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lowell NC home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lowell NC, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided 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 a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lowell NC employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Lowell NC dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical 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 Lowell NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lowell NC dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Lowell NC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lowell NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Lowell NC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lowell NC?
Lowell, North Carolina
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.21%, is water. The South Fork Catawba River borders Lowell on the north, and the city is part of the Cramerton Watershed.
Lowell was incorporated in 1879. It was named after Lowell, Massachusetts, in hopes the city would become a similar textile center. The settlement dates back to 1848, when the Woodlawn Mill was built on the South Fork Catawba River. When grading was done for the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway in 1870 and a small depot was built in the community, it was given the name "Wright's Station", because the nearest resident was William Wright.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,662 people, 1,085 households, and 748 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,011.8 people per square mile (390.8/km²). There were 1,137 housing units at an average density of 432.2 per square mile (166.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.40% White, 6.46% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.
There were 1,085 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Lowell NC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lowell NC.
More Great Cities in North Carolina
Business Results 1 - 10 of 165