How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Colfax California
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Colfax CA is an essential initial 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 much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job 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 independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Colfax CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings 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
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed 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 in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Colfax CA dental practices are normally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Colfax CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like 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 obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Colfax CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Colfax CA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose 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, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Colfax CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get hands-on, practical 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 establish professional relationships in the Colfax CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Colfax CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Colfax CA dental hygienist school 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 colleges can differ 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 private or public also have an impact. But besides 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Colfax CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Colfax CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need 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 due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Colfax CA?
Colfax (formerly, Alden Grove, Alder Grove, Illinoistown, and Upper Corral) is a city in Placer County, California, at the crossroads of Interstate 80 and State Route 174. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,963 at the 2010 census. The town is named in honor of U.S. Vice President Schuyler Colfax (1869–73), a bronze statue of whom stands at Railroad Street and Grass Valley Street. (This is the only known statue of Schuyler Colfax in the United States). Some of the town's notable features include the newly restored Southern Pacific Railroad colonnade-style depot (which houses the Colfax Museum and Chamber of Commerce) built in 1905, the downtown shops on Main Street, and Colfax High School, which serves a large surrounding area.
Originally inhabited by the Maidu and Miwok Indians, by the mid-19th century the city site was known as Alder Grove; however, as development increased, the city became known as Illinoistown. In April 1852, the Reelfoot Williams Gang robbed a Nevada City stagecoach of $7,000 in gold bullion near Illinoistown. This was the first stagecoach robbery in the gold country.
Later it was renamed Colfax after then Speaker of the House (and later Vice President) Schuyler Colfax who visited the town in 1865 while inspecting progress of construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad. The city was the southern terminus of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad from 1876 until the railroad’s removal in 1942. Historic U.S. Route 40 also runs through the city as well as the more modern Interstate 80. The city is mentioned in Jules Verne’s book, Around the World in Eighty Days.
Colfax is located at 39°5′50″N 120°57′14″W / 39.09722°N 120.95389°W / 39.09722; -120.95389 (39.097260, -120.954017). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Colfax CA
Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Colfax CA.
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