How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Concord California
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Concord CA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the school’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 longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Concord 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 sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Concord CA dental practices are generally required to have 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 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Concord CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Concord CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Concord CA employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Concord CA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of 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. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Concord CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Concord CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting 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. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Concord CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Concord CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Concord CA?
Concord (/ˈkɒŋkɔːrd/ KONG-kord) is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067 making it the 8th largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 29 miles (47 kilometres) east of San Francisco.
Concord is located at 37°58′41″N 122°01′52″W / 37.97806°N 122.03111°W / 37.97806; -122.03111. It is 29 miles (47 kilometres) northeast of San Francisco, 22 miles (35 km) northeast from Oakland, 65 miles (105 km) southwest of Sacramento, and 51 miles (82 km) north of San Jose.
The focal point of downtown Concord is Todo Santos Plaza, which encompasses an entire city block and is known for its farmers market, free summer concerts, and large number of surrounding restaurants. Much of the area immediately around downtown has recently been redeveloped, with new high-density apartment and condominium projects to take advantage of the proximity to public transportation and to the area surrounding the park. Despite this, some crime and homelessness remain issues in the downtown area.
To the north and east of downtown is the older residential area of Concord, with many homes dating back to before World War II. In the far northern edge of town is a primarily industrial area, dominated by the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery (which is actually not located within city limits). The southeastern area of the city, centered along Clayton Road, is primarily residential and was mostly developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In the southwest area of the city is the primarily Latino neighborhood known as Four Corners, centered around the intersection of Monument Boulevard and Oak Grove Road.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Concord CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Concord CA.
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