How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Cordova Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Cordova AK is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Cordova AK dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Cordova AK dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Cordova AK home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cordova AK, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid 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 virtually all states. To qualify 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Cordova AK employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Cordova AK dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Cordova AK dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Cordova AK dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Cordova AK area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Cordova AK at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cordova AK?
Cordova /kɔːrˈdoʊvə/, /ˈkɔːrdəvɒ/ is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. The population was 2,239 at the 2010 census. Cordova was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. No roads connect Cordova to other Alaskan towns, so a plane or ferry is required to travel there. In the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, an oil tanker ran aground northwest of Cordova, heavily damaging ecology and fishing.
In 1790 the inlet in front of the current Cordova townsite was named Puerto Cordova by Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo, after Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova. The town of Cordova was named after it, although the inlet itself was later renamed the Orca Inlet. Cordova proper was founded as a result of the discovery of high-grade copper ore at Kennecott, north of Cordova. A group of surveyors from Valdez laid out a town site and Michael James Heney purchased half the land for the terminus of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway after determining that the neighboring town of Katalla was a poor harbor. Heney and his crew held a brief ceremony to organize the town on March 26, 1906. A week later crews arrived to begin work on the railroad. The first lots in the new town site, which make up the heart of present-day Cordova, were sold at auction in May 1908. As the railroad grew, so did the town. Eventually schools, businesses, a hospital, and utilities were established. After the railroad was completed Cordova became the transportation hub for the ore coming out of Kennecott. In the years 1911 to 1938, more than 200 million tons of copper ore was transported through Cordova.
The area around Cordova was historically home to the Eyak, with a population of Chugach to the west, and occasional visits from Ahtna and Tlingit people for trade or battle. The last full-blooded Eyak Marie Smith Jones died in 2008, but the native traditions and lifestyle still has an influence on the local culture. Today Cordova is populated with a mix of races, including Aleut Natives, Filipinos, and Caucasian European – North Americans.
Cordova was also once the home of a booming razor clam industry, and between 1916 and the late 1950s it was known as the "Razor Clam Capital of the World". Commercial harvest in the area was as much as 3.5 million pounds. Returns began declining in the late 1950s, presumably due to overharvesting and a large die-off in 1958. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake effectively and completely obliterated the industry; in some areas, the ground was thrust up by as much as six feet, exposing the already depleted clam beds. There has been no commercial harvest in the area since 1988 with the exception of a brief harvest in 1993.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Cordova AK
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is essential 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 offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cordova AK.
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