How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Wrightsville Beach North Carolina
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Wrightsville Beach NC is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role 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 Wrightsville Beach NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about 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 licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 working in Wrightsville Beach NC dental practices are normally required to have 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 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Wrightsville Beach NC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wrightsville Beach NC, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Wrightsville Beach NC employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Wrightsville Beach NC dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way 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 Wrightsville Beach NC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Wrightsville Beach NC dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Wrightsville Beach NC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wrightsville Beach NC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Wrightsville Beach NC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wrightsville Beach NC?
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Wrightsville Beach is a town in New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. Wrightsville Beach is just east of Wilmington and is part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,477 at the 2010 census. The town consists of a four-mile-long beach island, an interior island called Harbor Island, and pockets of commercial property on the mainland.
A post office called Wrightsville was established in 1881. Wrightsville Beach is composed of two islands that are separated by two different bodies of water. Bradley Creek runs between the mainland and the Hammocks (currently known as Harbor Island). The Hammocks are then separated from the beach by Banks Channel. In the 1700 and 1800’s the Hammocks were accessible by a footbridge from the mainland and by boat. The beach itself was only accessible by boat.
The first documented history of present-day Wrightsville Beach began when the Lord’s Proprietors granted land to Charles Harrison in 1725. The land grant was for 640 acres (259 ha) located north of the present day Hiede Trask Bridge that runs over the Intracoastal Waterway and was the first formal ownership of property near the beach.
In 1853, the Carolina Yacht Club was founded by 7 local gentlemen who loved to sail and race boats. Currently known as the second oldest yacht club in America, the Yacht club was built in 1884. It was the first permanent structure on the beach and was only accessible by boat. Eventually a few scattered cottages and commercial buildings began springing up on what was then known as Ocean View Beach. The town was incorporated in 1899 as Wrightsville Beach, in honor of the Wright family of Wilmington and the community of Wrightsville on the mainland side of Harbor Island.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Wrightsville Beach NC
Picking the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wrightsville Beach NC.
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