How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Juneau Alaska
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Juneau AK is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as 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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues 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 explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role 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 Juneau AK dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Juneau AK 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Juneau AK home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Juneau AK, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program 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. Juneau AK employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Juneau AK dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive 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 form professional relationships in the Juneau AK dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Juneau AK dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Juneau AK dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Juneau AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Juneau AK in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Juneau AK?
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality on Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage.Fairbanks, however, is the state's second most populous metropolitan area, with roughly 100,000 residents. Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.
Juneau is unusual among U.S. capitals (except Honolulu, Hawaii) in that there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska or to the rest of North America (although ferry service is available for cars). The absence of a road network is due to the extremely rugged terrain surrounding the city. This in turn makes Juneau a de facto island city in terms of transportation, since all goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat, in spite of the city being on the Alaskan mainland. Downtown Juneau sits at sea level, with tides averaging 16 feet (5 m), below steep mountains about 3,500 feet (1,100 m) to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) high. Atop these mountains is the Juneau Icefield, a large ice mass from which about 30 glaciers flow; two of these, the Mendenhall Glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier, are visible from the local road system. The Mendenhall glacier has been gradually retreating; its front face is declining in width and height.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Juneau AK
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Juneau AK.
More Great Cities in Alaska