How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Bentonville Arkansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Bentonville AR is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, including the program’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Bentonville AR practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Bentonville AR dental offices are often 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 nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Bentonville AR home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Bentonville AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are important 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. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, 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 establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Bentonville AR employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides 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 select offers clinical rotation in a local Bentonville AR dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real 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 Bentonville AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Bentonville AR dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Bentonville AR dental hygienist college 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 Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Bentonville AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Bentonville AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Bentonville AR?
Bentonville is the ninth-largest city in Arkansas and the county seat of Benton County. The city is centrally located in the county with Rogers adjacent to the east. The city is the birthplace and world headquarters of Walmart, the world's largest retailer. It is one of the four main cities in the four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city itself had a population of 35,301 at the 2010 Census, with an estimated population of 47,093 in 2016.
The area now known as Bentonville's first known use by humans was as hunting grounds by the Osage Nation who lived in Missouri. The Osage would leave their settlements to hunt in present-day Benton County for months at a time before returning to their families. White settlers first inhabited the area around 1837 and named their settlement "Osage". By this time, the Osage had ceased using the area for hunting, and the white settlers began to establish farms. Upon establishment of Benton County on September 30, 1836, Osage was deemed a suitable site for the county seat, and the town square was established as the home of county government the following year. Osage was renamed Bentonville in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who strongly supported Arkansas statehood.
Two years after Arkansas received statehood in 1836, thousands of Cherokee people from Georgia passed through Benton County as part of the Trail of Tears route to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. Although no Civil War battles were fought inside Bentonville, the city was occupied by both armies and saw almost all of its buildings burned, either by opposing armies or guerrilla outlaws. Bentonville was a staging point for the Confederate army prior to the Battle of Pea Ridge, fought about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of town, and the town saw a brief skirmish just prior to the battle. The city began to rebuild about a decade after incorporation on April 3, 1873, with many of these Reconstruction Era buildings today serving as the oldest structures in Bentonville.
In the 1920s and 1930s the county developed a reputation as a leader in poultry production that continued into the World War II years, and which the area still maintains today. The post war economy helped Bentonville grow, with many new businesses starting.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Bentonville AR
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain 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 normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Bentonville AR.
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