How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Eastover South Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Eastover SC is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Eastover SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Eastover SC dental offices 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Eastover SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Eastover SC, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select 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 program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Eastover SC employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Eastover SC dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eastover SC dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Eastover SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Eastover SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Eastover SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Eastover SC?
Eastover, South Carolina
Eastover is a town in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 813 at the 2010 census, down from 830 in 2000. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The J.A. Byrd Mercantile Store, Farmers and Merchants Bank Building, Good Hope Baptist Church, Goodwill Plantation, Kensington Plantation House, St. Phillip School, Saint Thomas' Protestant Episcopal Church, Claudius Scott Cottage, and Siloam School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At the 2000 census, there were 830 people, 307 households and 228 families residing in the town. The population density was 670.8 per square mile (258.4/km²). There were 357 housing units at an average density of 288.5 per square mile (111.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.26% African American, 6.87% White, 0.41% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population.
There were 307 households of which 39.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.4% were married couples living together, 43.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.07.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Eastover SC
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, 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 receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Eastover SC.
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