How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Garden Grove California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Garden Grove CA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Garden Grove CA practice and the dentists. 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 present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Garden Grove CA dental practices are often 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Garden Grove CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Garden Grove CA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Garden Grove CA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in offers 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 school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Garden Grove CA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive 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 Garden Grove CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Garden Grove CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Garden Grove CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Garden Grove CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Garden Grove CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Garden Grove CA?
Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the city of Los Angeles. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.
Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries.
In 1933, much of the town's central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.
An annual event held over Memorial Day weekend, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is one of the largest community festivals in the western United States, attracting an estimated 250,000 visitors. It began in 1958 and celebrates the city's agricultural past, which includes cultivating crops such as chili peppers, oranges, walnuts and strawberries. Part of the festivities include the cutting of the world's largest strawberry shortcake, carnival rides and vendors and a celebrity-filled parade. Numerous Garden Grove organizations, including the Miss Garden Grove Scholarship Program, are part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities every year. In commemoration of Garden Grove's 50th anniversary, the city painted some of its fire hydrants with a design that featured a strawberry, recognizing the festival as a big part of Garden Grove's history.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Garden Grove CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Garden Grove CA.
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