How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Clarksville Arkansas
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Clarksville AR is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate 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 closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Clarksville AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Clarksville AR dental offices are usually 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Clarksville AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Clarksville AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning 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 program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Clarksville AR employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Clarksville AR dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain 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 build professional relationships in the Clarksville AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Clarksville AR dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Clarksville AR dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Clarksville AR area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Clarksville AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Clarksville AR?
Clarksville is a city in Johnson County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 9,178, up from 7,719 in 2000. As of 2016, the estimated population was 9,524. The city is the county seat of Johnson County. It is nestled between the Arkansas River and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, and Interstate 40 and US Highway 64 intersect within the city limits. Clarksville-Johnson County is widely known for its peaches, scenic byways and abundance of natural outdoor recreational activities.
Clarksville is located in south-central Johnson County at 35°27′50″N 93°28′38″W / 35.46389°N 93.47722°W / 35.46389; -93.47722 (35.464006, -93.477089). The city is bordered to the south by the Arkansas River, although the city center is 3 miles (5 km) north of the river and west of Spadra Creek.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Clarksville has a total area of 19.2 square miles (49.7 km2), of which 18.5 square miles (47.9 km2) are land and 0.69 square miles (1.8 km2), or 3.66%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,719 people, 2,960 households, and 1,918 families residing in the city. The population density was 429.3 people per square mile (165.8/km²). There were 3,240 housing units at an average density of 180.2 per square mile (69.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.60% White, 3.46% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.15% from other races, and 1.85% from two or more races. 15.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Clarksville AR
Picking the right dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking 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 Clarksville AR.
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