How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Raleigh North Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Raleigh NC is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance 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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Raleigh NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Raleigh NC dental practices 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Raleigh NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Raleigh NC, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Raleigh NC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Raleigh NC dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get 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 establish professional relationships in the Raleigh NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Raleigh NC dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Raleigh NC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Raleigh NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify 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 Raleigh NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical 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 emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Raleigh NC?
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh (/ˈrɑːli/; RAH-lee) is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States. Raleigh is the second-largest city in the state of North Carolina, after Charlotte. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city. The city covers a land area of 142.8 square miles (370 km2). The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population as 451,066 as of July 1, 2015. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County.
Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University (NCSU) and is part of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, together with Durham (home of Duke University) and Chapel Hill (home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The "Triangle" nickname originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located in Durham and Wake counties, among the three cities and their universities. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau's Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which had an estimated population of 2,037,430 in 2013. The Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had an estimated population of 1,214,516 in 2013.
Most of Raleigh is located within Wake County, with a very small portion extending into Durham County. The towns of Cary, Morrisville, Garner, Clayton, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Rolesville are some of Raleigh's primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns.
Raleigh is an early example in the United States (US) of a planned city. Following the American Revolutionary War when the US gained independence, this was chosen as the site of the state capital in 1788 and incorporated in 1792 as such. The city was originally laid out in a grid pattern with the North Carolina State Capitol in Union Square at the center. During the United States Civil War, the city was spared from any significant battle. It fell to the Union in the closing days of the war, and struggled with the economic hardships in the postwar period related to the reconstitution of labor markets, over-reliance on agriculture, and the social unrest of the Reconstruction Era.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Raleigh NC
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Raleigh NC.
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