How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Lake City South Carolina
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Lake City SC is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting 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 in support of the Lake City SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lake City SC dental practices are often 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for obtaining 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 balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lake City SC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened 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 required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lake City SC, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look 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 looking at in order to make 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 program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lake City SC employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Lake City SC dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way 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 build professional relationships in the Lake City SC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance getting 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 high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lake City SC dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lake City SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lake City SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Lake City SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lake City SC?
Lake City, South Carolina
Lake City is a city in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,675 at the 2010 census. Located in central South Carolina, it is south of Florence and included as part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Lake City area was originally part of Williamsburg Township, which was first settled by a group of Scots-Irish in 1736. It was first called "Graham's Crossroads" and then "Graham", after Aaron Graham, a land owner around the crossroads that now form Church and Main streets in Lake City.
In 1856, the Northeastern Railroad built its main line through the area. This brought new growth to the community. On March 4, 1874, after requests from residents, a city charter was granted to the new town of Graham. On December 24, 1883, the town changed its name to "Lake City", after the swimming lakes just north of town. This was at the request of the locally-serving Lynches Lake Post Office, since there was another post office in South Carolina known as that.
Lake City was at one time called the "Bean Capital of the World", and the Bean Market downtown has now been converted into an event rental and civic center facility. The building was built in 1936 by the Public Works Administration (PWA), and was a central hub for farmers across the South to get their beans to market. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in the Lake City Downtown Historic District. Also listed on the National Register of Historical Places is the W.T. Askins House.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Lake City SC
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is essential 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 alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lake City SC.
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