How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Gaston South Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Gaston SC is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing 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 significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’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. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Gaston SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Gaston SC dental offices are often 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 almost 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Gaston SC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gaston SC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Even though 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 arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college 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. Gaston SC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like 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 Gaston SC dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain 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 form professional relationships in the Gaston SC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Gaston SC dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Gaston SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Gaston SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Gaston SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Gaston SC?
Gaston, South Carolina
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,304 people, 484 households, and 366 families residing in the town. The population density was 380.6 people per square mile (146.8/km²). There were 532 housing units at an average density of 155.3 per square mile (59.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.71% White, 1.07% African American, 0.84% Native American, 0.46% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.92% of the population.
There were 484 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.2% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $31,411, and the median income for a family was $32,917. Males had a median income of $27,857 versus $21,680 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,546. About 17.1% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.1% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Gaston SC
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to 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 right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Gaston 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.