How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Abbeville South Carolina
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Abbeville SC is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant 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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Abbeville SC 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 gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Abbeville SC dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Abbeville SC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Abbeville SC, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Abbeville SC employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Abbeville SC dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive 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 establish professional relationships in the Abbeville SC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Abbeville SC dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Abbeville SC dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Abbeville SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Abbeville SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Abbeville SC?
Abbeville, South Carolina
Abbeville is a city in Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States, 86 miles (138 km) west of Columbia and 45 miles (72 km) south of Greenville. Its population was 5,237 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Abbeville County. Settled by French Huguenot settlers, it was named, along with the county, for the French town of the same name.
Abbeville has the unique distinction of being both the birthplace and the deathbed of the Confederacy. On November 22, 1860, a meeting was held at Abbeville, at a site since dubbed "Secession Hill", to launch South Carolina's secession from the Union; one month later, the state of South Carolina became the first state to secede.
At the end of the Civil War, with the Confederacy in shambles, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond, Virginia, and headed south, stopping for a night in Abbeville at the home of his friend Armistead Burt. It was on May 2, 1865, in the front parlor of what is now known as the Burt-Stark Mansion that Jefferson Davis officially acknowledged the dissolution of the Confederate government, in the last official cabinet meeting.
On December 8, 2003, in a 14-hour standoff that stemmed from a land-survey dispute, two Abbeville lawmen were killed by West Abbeville resident Steven Bixby. This siege has been compared by both sympathizers of the Bixbys and law enforcement agents to the events of Waco and Ruby Ridge. In February 2007, Steven Bixby was convicted on 17 counts including the two murders, as well as lesser charges of kidnapping and conspiracy. He was given two death sentences for the murders plus 125 years in prison on the other charges.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Abbeville SC
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Abbeville SC.
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