How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Maumelle Arkansas
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Maumelle AR is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you should 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 offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Maumelle AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Maumelle AR dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Maumelle AR home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Maumelle AR, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Maumelle 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, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish 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 want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Maumelle AR dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Maumelle AR dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Maumelle AR dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Maumelle AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Maumelle AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Maumelle AR?
Maumelle is an affluent city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,163. The city is located northwest of Little Rock, bordering the opposite shore of the Arkansas River and is part of the Little Rock metropolitan area.
Maumelle was founded by Jess Odom with federal assistance from the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act. Maumelle was the location of the second oldest Target Corporation distribution center. The center closed in 2009
As of the census of 2010, there are 17,163 people, 6,531 households, and 3,174 families residing in the city. The population density is 463.2/km² (1,199.3/mi²). There are 4,294 housing units at an average density of 188.4/km² (487.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 82.9% White, 12.1% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. 1.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 6,531 households out of which 39.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.8% are married couples living together, 8.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.1% are non-families. 19.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.59 and the average family size is 2.94.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Maumelle AR
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect 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 best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Maumelle AR.
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