How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Smackover Arkansas
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Smackover AR is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Smackover 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 encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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. Once 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 Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Smackover AR dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Smackover AR home or anywhere else 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 have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Smackover AR, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Smackover AR employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Smackover AR dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Smackover AR dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Smackover AR dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Smackover AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Smackover AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Smackover AR?
In 1686, the French settlers called this area "SUMAC COUVERT" which translates to "covered in sumac bushes". This was phonetically Anglicized by the English-speaking settlers to the name "SMACKOVER." Oil was discovered in this area in 1922 which brought national attention and a boom. Smackover was incorporated in 1923. In the 1920s there was a large scale oil industry in Smackover.
The Smackover Oil Field was discovered on April 14, 1922. The J.T. Murphy well drilled by Oil Operators Trust, reached the Upper Cretaceous Nacatoch sand at a depth of 2024 feet, part of the Norphlet dome. Within a year, almost 1,000 wells had produced 25 million barrels of oil. In October 1922, a lighter oil was produced further west, from the Meakin sand at depths between 2230 and 2350 feet. Oil was discovered in the Blossom sand at a depth of 2610 feet in March 1923. The Graves sand was produced at a depth of 2501 feet in Jan. 1925. Oil was discovered in the Jurassic Smackover Formation limestone at a depth of 4800 feet on 8 May 1936 by the Phillips Petroleum Co. Oil and gas were produced from the porous Reynolds oolite at a depth of 4897 feet.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Smackover has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,005 people, 794 households, and 565 families residing in the city. The population density was 471.9 people per square mile (182.1/km²). There were 915 housing units at an average density of 215.3 per square mile (83.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.57% White, 26.28% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.95% from two or more races. 0.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Smackover AR
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Smackover AR.
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