Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Liberty SC 29657

How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Liberty South Carolina

Liberty SC dental hygienist with patientSelecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Liberty 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 far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, including the program’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 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 reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Liberty SC pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen comparing the duties 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 Liberty SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Teaching patients about oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

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 licensure exams. When they have fulfilled 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 added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Liberty SC dental offices are generally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.

Dental Hygienist Online Colleges

attending dental hygienist school online in Liberty SCEnrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Liberty SC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. 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 needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.

What to Cover With Dental  Hygienist Schools

teeth cleaned by Liberty SC dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Liberty SC, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order 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 training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Liberty SC employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Liberty SC dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Liberty SC dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Liberty SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Liberty SC area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Liberty SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Liberty SC?

Liberty, South Carolina

How exactly Liberty got its name has been a source of debate over the years. There are no real historical accounts of why Liberty was given the name it was. The most popular—though probably mythical—story regarding the reason the area was named Liberty was put forth by Mrs. Annie Craig in 1936: “At the close of the Revolutionary war a religious meeting was being held at a church close to a spring near the present town of Liberty when the word came that Cornwallis had surrendered and the colonies had gained their independence. This church was named Liberty and it and the spring were located just beyond where the cemetery is now located, hence the name Liberty.”[3]

Some have claimed that Liberty was once named Salubrity Springs, but was renamed Liberty in the late 19th century. References to early land records, however, suggests that such is not the case. While there are many records that refer to the area as Liberty Spring, there are no private or legal documents that contain a reference to Salubrity Spring.[4] The first reference to Salubrity comes from the name of a farm purchased by the Rev. Allen Fuller, Universalist, in 1837. In 1839, Mr. Fuller set up a post office in his home, naming it Salubrity Post Office. This post office remained in operation until February, 1876, three years after the first official Liberty post office was established in 1873.[5] Once the town of Liberty was chartered little more than a month after the Salubrity post office closed, the name Salubrity became little more than a memory.

Liberty today sits on land that was once part of the Cherokee Indians’ hunting ground. The Otarre, or Lower Hill Cherokees, had several thriving villages along the riverbanks in the area; perhaps the most notable example being the village of Keowee, located near the modern day Oconee and Pickens County line. Cherokee tribesmen, who often survived by growing crops, and tended to live in small villages, were in many ways more domesticated than other Native American tribes. The Cherokee also hunted game, believing that the foothills were a sacred hunting ground for deer, buffalo, and other large animals.[6]

Tradition holds that Hernando DeSoto and his group of Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to travel through the area around year 1540.[7] The first Englishmen to venture into the area were traders who often travelled up from Charles Town and Savannah to exchange their guns, horses, cloth, and liquor with the Cherokee for animal skin and fur.[8] In 1753, British colonists built Fort Prince George, the first white settlement in Pickens County.[9] During the American Revolution the Cherokee chose to support the loyalists. South Carolinian patriots, angered at the Cherokee for supporting the Redcoats, forced them to cede much of their territory with the Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner in 1777.[10] American settlers did not start moving into the area in large numbers until the mid-1780s.

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Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Liberty SC

Picking the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Liberty SC.

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