How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Citrus Heights California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Citrus Heights CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the college’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. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at 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 undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Citrus Heights CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Citrus Heights CA dental offices are normally required to have 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 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Citrus Heights CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical 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 appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Citrus Heights CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Citrus Heights CA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Citrus Heights CA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Citrus Heights CA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Citrus Heights CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Citrus Heights CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Citrus Heights CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Citrus Heights CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Citrus Heights CA?
Citrus Heights, California
Citrus Heights is located at 38°42′N 121°17′W / 38.700°N 121.283°W / 38.700; -121.283 (38.6947, -121.2905). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), all land. The city incorporated January 2, 1997 (January 1 according to the official city website), becoming the fifth city in Sacramento County.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Citrus Heights had a population of 83,301. The population density was 5,854.6 people per square mile (2,260.5/km²). The racial makeup of Citrus Heights was 66,856 (80.3%) White, 2,751 (3.3%) African American, 753 (0.9%) Native American, 2,714 (3.3%) Asian (1.2% Filipino, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.4% Other), 363 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 5,348 (6.4%) from other races, and 4,516 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,734 persons (16.5%).
There were 32,686 households, out of which 10,452 (32.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,241 (43.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,689 (14.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,027 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,653 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 252 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 8,860 households (27.1%) were made up of individuals and 3,280 (10.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53. There were 20,957 families (64.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.08.
The population was spread out with 19,241 people (23.1%) under the age of 18, 8,480 people (10.2%) aged 18 to 24, 23,022 people (27.6%) aged 25 to 44, 21,473 people (25.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 11,085 people (13.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Citrus Heights CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Citrus Heights CA.
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