How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Folly Beach South Carolina
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Folly Beach SC is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the school’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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Folly Beach SC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees 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 duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Folly Beach SC dental offices are usually 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 virtually 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Folly Beach SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Folly Beach 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 looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Folly Beach SC employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical 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 kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Folly Beach SC dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Folly Beach SC dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Folly Beach SC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense 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 factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Folly Beach SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Folly Beach SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Folly Beach SC?
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Folly Beach is a city located on Folly Island in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,617 at the 2010 census, up from 2,116 in 2000. Folly Beach is within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Areas.
Folly Beach is located 11 miles (18 km) south of downtown Charleston at 32°39′58″N 79°56′21″W / 32.66611°N 79.93917°W / 32.66611; -79.93917 (32.666152, -79.939213), along the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.9 square miles (48.9 km2), of which 12.5 square miles (32.4 km2) is land and 6.4 square miles (16.5 km2), or 33.72%, is water.
Known to Charleston locals as "the Edge of America", Folly Beach is home to numerous surf spots, the most popular being the Washout, 10th Street and the Folly Beach Pier. Despite its usually calm conditions, Folly Beach has gained prominence as one of the more popular surf spots along the East Coast. Folly Beach is an eclectic beach community with surf shops, restaurants, gift shops, offices, and bars along Center Street; the main road and gateway to the community.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Folly Beach SC
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course 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 obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Folly Beach SC.
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