How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Apache Junction AZ is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and additional 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 offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Apache Junction AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically 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 also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Apache Junction AZ dental offices are normally required to have 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 virtually 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Apache Junction AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Apache Junction AZ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Apache Junction AZ employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Apache Junction AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Apache Junction AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Apache Junction AZ dental profession 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 programs you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Apache Junction AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Apache Junction AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Apache Junction AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical 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 responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Apache Junction AZ?
Apache Junction, Arizona
The town is bounded by the Superstition Mountains (a federal wilderness area and home of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine) on the east, the Goldfield Mountains with the Bulldog Recreation Area on the north and the city of Mesa on the west. Goldfield Ghost Town, a tourist location preserved from former prospecting days, lies near the western face of Superstition Mountain just off Highway 88 (Apache Trail). It is located just southwest of the site of the ghost town of Goldfield, Arizona.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,840 people, 15,574 households, and 9,372 families residing in the city. The population density was 929.3 people per square mile (358.9/km²). There were 22,771 housing units at an average density of 665.1 per square mile (256.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.5% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.9% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.4% of the population.
There were 15,574 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.85.
The median income (as of the 2000 census) for a household in the city was $33,170, and the median income for a family was $37,726. Males had a median income of $31,283 versus $22,836 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,806. About 7.3% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Apache Junction AZ
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial 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 alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Apache Junction AZ.
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