How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Lugoff South Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Lugoff SC is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the college’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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lugoff 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 encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lugoff SC dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Lugoff SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies 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 clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lugoff SC, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lugoff SC employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Lugoff SC dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Lugoff SC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lugoff SC dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Lugoff SC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lugoff SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Lugoff SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lugoff SC?
Lugoff, South Carolina
Lugoff (pronounced Lew goff) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was approximately 7,434 as of the 2010 census and was nearly 85% rural in 2000. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,434 people, 2,364 households, and 1,846 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 488.9 people per square mile (188.8/km²). There were 2,467 housing units at an average density of 192.1 per square mile (74.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.56% White, 15.45% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.
There were 2,364 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.1% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.9% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Lugoff SC
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to acquire your education 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lugoff SC.
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