How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Blacksburg South Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Blacksburg SC is an important initial 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 picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job 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 Blacksburg SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 licensing exams. Once 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
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Blacksburg SC dental offices are generally required to hold 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 nearly 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 dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely 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 Blacksburg SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office 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 mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Blacksburg SC, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. 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 reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Blacksburg SC employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Blacksburg SC dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Blacksburg SC dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Blacksburg SC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Blacksburg SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Blacksburg SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Blacksburg SC?
Blacksburg, South Carolina
Blacksburg is a small town in Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,848 at the 2010 census. The communities of Cherokee Falls, Kings Creek, Cashion Crossroads, Buffalo, and Mount Paran are located near the town.
Blacksburg is in Upstate South Carolina on the Interstate 85 corridor about 45 mi (72 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area (CSA) which has a population of 1,173,433 according to 2004 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Located near the northern border of the state, the present-day site of Blacksburg was first settled by a man named Stark. Mr. Stark, who had lived in Charleston, South Carolina prior to moving to the area, had gotten several people to come along with him on an agriculture venture, but this venture would fail. Those who stayed behind named the area "Stark's Folly".
In the late 19th century the Black family, headed by John G. Black, a Confederate veteran, was living in the area and persuaded the C.C. & C. Railroad Company to lay track through the town and build a depot. The town soon became known as "Black's Station" in honor of John G. Black and was renamed "Blacksburg" in 1888.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Blacksburg SC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Blacksburg SC.
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