How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Mount Airy North Carolina
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Mount Airy NC is an important first 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 far more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the school’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 complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing 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 assists the Mount Airy NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may 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 Mount Airy NC dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a viable option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Mount Airy NC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically 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 appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Mount Airy NC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Mount Airy NC employers often prefer or require that new hires 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 schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides sufficient 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 program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Mount Airy NC dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at 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 Mount Airy NC dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Mount Airy NC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent 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 public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Mount Airy NC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Mount Airy NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Mount Airy NC?
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Mount Airy is a city in Surry County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,388. The town is widely known as the home of actor Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry on his eponymous show.
Mount Airy was settled in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop on the road between Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Galax, Virginia. It was named for a nearby plantation. Mount Airy was incorporated in 1885. The City's official seal was established in 1977 which depicts major industries that are home to Mount Airy including: furniture, textiles, and the granite quarry. In 1994, Mount Airy was named an All American City.
The W. F. Carter House, William Carter House, Edgar Harvey Hennis House, William Alfred Moore House, Mount Airy Historic District, North Carolina Granite Corporation Quarry Complex, Renfro Mill, and Trinity Episcopal Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mount Airy is located at 36°30′N 80°37′W / 36.500°N 80.617°W / 36.500; -80.617 (36.5006, −80.6093), along the Ararat River, about 5 km (3 mi) south of the Virginia state line. The United States Census Bureau says the city has a total area of 8.4 square miles (22 km2), all of it land. The city is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 14 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Mount Airy NC
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Mount Airy NC.
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