How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Inglewood California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Inglewood CA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the school’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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Inglewood CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Inglewood CA dental practices are usually required to hold 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Inglewood CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Inglewood CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished 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 College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Inglewood CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Inglewood CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way 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 build 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 programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Inglewood CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Inglewood CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based 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 have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Inglewood CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Inglewood CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Inglewood CA?
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 109,673. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. The city is in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is currently under construction in the city and when completed around 2020 will be the new home of both the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The city is also close to Los Angeles International Airport.
The earliest residents of what is now Inglewood were Native Americans who used the natural springs in today's Edward Vincent Jr. Park (known for most of its history as Centinela Park). Local historian Gladys Waddingham wrote that these springs took the name Centinela from the hills that rose gradually around them and which allowed ranchers to watch over their herds "(thus the name centinelas or sentinels)".:unpaged [xiv]
Waddingham traced the written history of Inglewood back to the original settlers of Los Angeles in 1781, one of whom was the Spanish soldier Jose Manuel Orchado Machado, "a 23-year-old muleteer from Los Alamos in Sinaloa". These settlers, she wrote, were ordered by the officials of the San Gabriel Mission "to graze their animals on the ocean side of Los Angeles in order not to infringe on Mission lands." As a result, the settlers, or pobladores, drove some of their cattle to the "lush pasture lands near Centinela Springs," and the first construction there was done by one Ygnacio Avila, who received a permit in 1822 to build a "corral and hut for his herders.":unpaged [xiv]
Later Avila constructed a three-room adobe on a slight rise overlooking the creek that ran from Centinela Springs all the way to the ocean. According to the LAOkay web site, this adobe was built where the present baseball field is in the park. It no longer exists.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist School near Inglewood CA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. 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 ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Inglewood CA.
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