How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Atherton California
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Atherton CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including 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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive 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 explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Atherton CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as 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 employed in Atherton CA dental practices are generally 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Atherton CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually 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 appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Atherton CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Atherton CA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Atherton CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to obtain 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 form professional relationships in the Atherton CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Atherton CA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Atherton CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Atherton CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist 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 Atherton CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Atherton CA?
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. In 1990, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2500 and 9,999, and it is regularly ranked among the most expensive zip codes in the country.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.
In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the Town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.
Faxon D. Atherton, a native of Massachusetts, had spent several years in Chile and Hawaii as a trader in tallow, hides and merchandise. His friend and business associate, Thomas Lark, had written to him "there is education available for your children and a dignity of living on landed estates down the San Francisco peninsula (that is) convenient and accessible." Atherton purchased 640 acres (2.6 km2) for ten dollars an acre ($2470/km²) in 1860. His home, "Valparaíso Park", was built several years later. It was simple in design and ample for his family of seven children.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Atherton CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Atherton CA.
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