How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Winona Lake Indiana
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Winona Lake IN is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, such as the school’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Winona Lake IN practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees 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 can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once 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 Training Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Winona Lake IN dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Winona Lake IN home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Winona Lake IN, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Winona Lake IN employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Winona Lake IN dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Winona Lake IN dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Winona Lake IN dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Winona Lake IN area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist 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 Winona Lake IN in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical 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 Winona Lake IN?
Winona Lake, Indiana
Winona Lake is located at 41°13′15″N 85°49′2″W / 41.22083°N 85.81722°W / 41.22083; -85.81722 (41.220818, -85.817118). It is now contiguous to Warsaw, the two towns having run into each another as they have expanded.
According to the 2010 census, Winona Lake has a total area of 3.25 square miles (8.42 km2), of which 2.76 square miles (7.15 km2) (or 84.92%) is land and 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) (or 15.08%) is water.
Winona Lake is best known for the lake it is named after and built on, although the lake was originally known as Eagle Lake. Located along the eastern shore of the lake, the Winona Lake Historic District includes various historic homes and other buildings that attest to the area's history as a Chautauqua and Bible conference hotspot. It is also the home of Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary and was the home of famed preacher and professional baseball player Billy Sunday who died in 1935. Christian musician and preacher Homer Rodeheaver also made Winona Lake his home from 1912 until his death in 1955. The Winona School of Professional Photography was started there in 1912 (as the Indiana School of Photography) and was operated by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) until its move to Chicago (Mount Prospect) in 1988. Famous photographers from around the world taught there during summer-only classes. The now defunct Winona College was founded here, and the Winona Lake School of Theology was located here from 1920 to 1970. Winona Lake was also home to the headquarters of The Free Methodist Church until it moved its offices to Indianapolis in 1990.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,908 people, 1,569 households, and 1,098 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,778.3 inhabitants per square mile (686.6/km2). There were 1,786 housing units at an average density of 647.1 per square mile (249.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 92.2% White, 1.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 4.0% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.4% of the population.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Winona Lake IN
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative 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 several options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining 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 better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Winona Lake IN.
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