How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Mount Pleasant South Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Mount Pleasant SC is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Mount Pleasant SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled 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
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Mount Pleasant SC dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Mount Pleasant SC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Mount Pleasant SC, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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. Mount Pleasant SC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Mount Pleasant SC dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Mount Pleasant SC dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Mount Pleasant SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to 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 programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, 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 expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Mount Pleasant SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Mount Pleasant SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Mount Pleasant SC?
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Mount Pleasant is a large suburban town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. It is the fourth largest municipality and largest town in South Carolina, and for several years was one of the state's fastest-growing areas, doubling in population between 1990 and 2000. The population was 67,843 at the 2010 census,, making it the largest South Carolina town by population in that census. The estimated population in 2014 was 77,796. At the foot of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge is Patriots Point, a naval and maritime museum, home to the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, which is now a museum ship. The Ravenel Bridge, an eight-lane highway that was completed in 2005, spans the Cooper River and links Mount Pleasant with the city of Charleston.
The site of Mount Pleasant was originally occupied by the Sewee people, an Algonquian language-speaking tribe. The first white settlers arrived from England on July 6, 1680, under the leadership of Captain Florentia O'Sullivan. Captain O'Sullivan had been granted 2,340 acres (950 ha), which included not only the island that bears his name, but also the land that was to become Mount Pleasant. On the earliest map of the time this area was called "North Point".
In 1696, 51 new settlers arrived. Each family was allotted several hundred acres in the area that became known as Christ Church parish. In 1706 the Province of Carolina withstood several attacks by the Spanish and the French from their settlements to the south and were victorious in defeating French invaders in an area known as "Abcaw".
The area of "Abcaw" was Hobcaw Plantation, located between Shem Creek and the Wando River. Later, it was also known as Shipyard Plantation because its deep water and abundance of good timber made it ideal for a prosperous shipbuilding enterprise. Lands adjacent to Hobcaw Point were owned at different times by several different families, many of which maintained ferries which served Mount Pleasant.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Mount Pleasant SC
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Mount Pleasant SC.
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