How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Calabasas California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Calabasas CA is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Calabasas CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After 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
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Calabasas CA 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 nearly every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Calabasas CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Calabasas CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Calabasas CA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Calabasas CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain 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 Calabasas CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Calabasas CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Calabasas CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Calabasas CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Calabasas CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Calabasas CA?
Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu, California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,058, up from 20,033 at the 2000 census. The city was formally incorporated in 1991.
It is generally accepted that the name of Calabasas is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin", "squash", or "gourd" (cf. calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is derived from the Chumash word calahoosa which is said to mean "where the wild geese fly." Owing to vast presence of wild squash plants in the area, the squash theory is more prevalent among local residents. At the top of the Calabasas grade, which is east of Las Virgenes Road on the original El Camino Real, legend has it that in 1824, a Basque rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagonload of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas—the place where the pumpkins fell.
In honor of its namesake, the City of Calabasas and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hold an annual Pumpkin Festival in October, including carnival games, exhibits, demonstrations, and live entertainment. The festival has evolved from a small-town fair to a significant annual event. Though the current Pumpkin Festival is held at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas, the original festival was believed to have taken place where the traveling wagon carrying pumpkins overturned and started the area's first pumpkin patch.
The city's official logo, depicting a red-tailed hawk flying over the Santa Monica Mountains, symbolizes a commitment to preserving the community's natural beauty and semirural quality of life. This logo is featured on the Calabasas city flag which is flown in front of City Hall and hangs in the City Council Chambers.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Calabasas CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative 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 several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. 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 as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Calabasas CA.
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