How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Morganton North Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Morganton NC is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Morganton NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth 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 tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Morganton NC dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Morganton NC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Morganton NC, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Morganton NC employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Morganton NC dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Morganton NC dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Morganton NC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Morganton NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Morganton NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Morganton NC?
Morganton, North Carolina
Morganton is one of the principal cities in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. A site five miles north of here has been identified as the Mississippian culture chiefdom of Joara, occupied from 1400AD to 1600AD. This was also the site of Fort San Juan, built in 1567 by a Spanish expedition as the first European settlement in the interior of North America, 40 years before the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.
The oldest-known European inland (non-coastal) settlement in the United States of Fort San Juan has been identified at Joara, a former Mississippian culture chiefdom located about five miles north of present-day Morganton. In 1567 a Spanish expedition built the fort there, while seeking to establish an interior route to Mexican silver mines. This was more than 40 years before the English settled Jamestown, Virginia, their first permanent settlement in North America.
The Spanish left a 31-man garrison that occupied the fort for 18 months before being overcome in a Mississippian attack. Five other Spanish forts in the larger interior region were also destroyed about that time. Only one soldier survived. The fort and Indian settlement have been under professional excavation since the early 21st century, with findings published since 2004. Europeans associated with the British colonies did not try to settle this far west for nearly 200 years, organizing Burke County in 1777.
Today Joara is identified as a significant archaeological and historic site near the Watersee River in the Upper Catawba Valley. Construction of its mounds is believed to have been started by the people of the Mississippian culture by AD 1000, and they occupied the site continuously from 1400AD to 1600AD. Based on additional archeological excavations at the "Berry Site" that revealed the remains of a defensive moat constructed in European style, researchers in 2013 concluded that this was the site of Fort San Juan and Joara. Earlier evidence found in the area included "military artifacts and burned remains of Spanish-built huts."
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Morganton NC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Morganton NC.
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