How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Fountain Inn South Carolina
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Fountain Inn SC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Fountain Inn SC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. 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 Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Fountain Inn SC dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fountain Inn SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fountain Inn SC, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fountain Inn SC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides adequate 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, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Fountain Inn SC dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective 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 develop professional relationships in the Fountain Inn SC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fountain Inn SC dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Fountain Inn SC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fountain Inn SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Fountain Inn SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fountain Inn SC?
Fountain Inn, South Carolina
Fountain Inn is a city in Greenville and Laurens counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 7,799 at the 2010 census, up from 6,017 in 2000. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Cannon Building, Fairview Presbyterian Church, Fountain Inn High School, Fountain Inn Principal's House and Teacherage, McDowell House, Robert Quillen Office and Library, Tullyton, and F. W. Welborn House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The southern part of the city is in Laurens County, while the bulk of the city is in Greenville County. The city's nickname is "The Diamond Tip of the Golden Strip". The city took its name from an inn and fountain that were along the old stagecoach route. The stagecoach drivers called the stop "Fountain Inn", and it stuck. A small garden fountain is installed at City Hall, and there is a marker on the north side of town showing the former location of the old inn.
South Carolina Highway 14 runs through the center of town as Main Street, and Interstate 385 runs along the southern edge of the city, with access from Exits 22, 23, and 26. Greenville is 17 miles (27 km) to the northwest, and Columbia is 84 miles (135 km) to the southeast. Via Highway 14, Laurens is 16 miles (26 km) to the southeast.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near Fountain Inn SC
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fountain Inn SC.
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Morrissey was a co-author of a study last year that estimated 8% of dental hygienists left the workforce in 2020. A year later, some had returned. But hygienist Sarah Crow, who's the president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienist Association, says many of her older colleagues aren't coming back.