Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Pinetown NC 27865

How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Pinetown North Carolina

Pinetown NC dental hygienist with patientSelecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Pinetown NC is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the school’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 accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Pinetown NC pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen comparing 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 in support of the Pinetown 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 encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When 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 employed in Pinetown NC dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Dental Hygienist Online Programs

attending dental hygienist school online in Pinetown NCChoosing an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Pinetown NC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask Dental  Hygienist Schools

teeth cleaned by Pinetown NC dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Pinetown NC, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Pinetown NC employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Pinetown NC dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Pinetown NC dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Pinetown NC dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing 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 offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Pinetown NC area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Pinetown NC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Pinetown NC?

Pinetown, North Carolina

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Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Pinetown NC

Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire 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 community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Pinetown NC.

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