How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Avondale Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Avondale AZ is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess 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 program that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Avondale AZ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal 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 each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Avondale AZ dental offices are usually 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 complete 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Avondale AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Avondale AZ, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges 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 evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Avondale AZ employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Avondale AZ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Avondale AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Avondale AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Avondale AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Avondale AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Avondale AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Avondale AZ?
Avondale, incorporated in 1946, experienced rapid residential and commercial growth in the years since 1980. Once primarily a sparsely populated farming community with many acres of alfalfa and cotton fields, Avondale has transformed into a major bedroom suburb for Phoenix. Several major residential subdivisions and shopping centers have recently been built on former farmland, many adjacent to Interstate 10.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.3 square miles (107 km2), of which, 41.3 square miles (107 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.15%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,883 people, 10,640 households, and 8,724 families residing in the city. The population density was 869.7 people per square mile (335.8/km²). There were 11,419 housing units at an average density of 276.8 per square mile (106.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.27% White, 5.20% Black or African American, 1.28% Native American, 1.89% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 24.32% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 46.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 10,640 households out of which 47.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.0% were non-families. 12.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age. The average household size was 3.36 and the average family size was 3.66.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Avondale AZ
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 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 presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Avondale AZ.
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