How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Eureka Springs Arkansas
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Eureka Springs AR is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Eureka Springs AR practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Eureka Springs AR dental offices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Eureka Springs AR home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Eureka Springs AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Eureka Springs AR employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers 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 program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Eureka Springs AR dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical 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 create professional relationships in the Eureka Springs AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eureka Springs AR dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Eureka Springs AR dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending 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 along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Eureka Springs AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Eureka Springs AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required 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 due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Eureka Springs AR?
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Eureka Springs is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States, and one of two county seats for the county. It is located in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,073.
The entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Eureka Springs Historic District. Eureka Springs has been selected as one of America's Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Eureka Springs was originally called "The Magic City" and later the "Stairstep Town" because of its mountainous terrain and the winding, up-and-down paths of its streets and walkways.
It is a popular tourist destination for its unique character as a Victorian resort village. The city has steep winding streets filled with Victorian-style cottages and manors. The historic commercial downtown of the city has an extensive streetscape of well-preserved Victorian buildings. The buildings are primarily constructed of local stone, built along streets that curve around the hills and rise and fall with the topography in a five-mile long loop. Some buildings have street-level entrances on more than one floor. The streets wind around the town, and no two intersect at a 90 degree angle; there are no traffic lights.
The European Americans also believed that the springs had healing powers. After the Europeans arrived, they described the waters of the springs as having magical powers. Dr. Alvah Jackson was credited in American history with locating the spring, and in 1856 claimed that the waters of Basin Spring had cured his eye ailments. Dr. Jackson established a hospital in a local cave during the Civil War and used the waters from Basin Spring to treat his patients. After the war, Jackson marketed the spring waters as "Dr. Jackson's Eye Water".
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Eureka Springs AR
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Eureka Springs AR.
More Great Cities in Arkansas