How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Lakeside California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Lakeside CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as 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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lakeside CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 exams. Once they have fulfilled 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 as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lakeside CA dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely 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 comfort of your Lakeside CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lakeside CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lakeside CA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Lakeside CA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Lakeside CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lakeside CA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Lakeside CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lakeside CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Lakeside CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lakeside CA?
Lakeside was founded in 1886 when 6,600 acres of land surrounding the naturally occurring Lindo Lake were purchased by the El Cajon Valley Land Company, who immediately began to promote the new land as a town and built an 80-room Victorian-style inn, the Lakeside Hotel, at a cost of $50,000 (approximately $1,220,000 today). Three years later, in 1889, Lakeside became connected to the railroad system, and small businesses began to spring up, firmly establishing Lakeside as a bustling community. In 1904, John H. Gay bought the Lakeside Hotel and fenced off the park surrounding Lindo Lake, claiming both as part of his estate. He then proceeded to construct an automobile and horse racetrack around the lake, which became famous when Barney Oldfield set a new land speed record when visiting for the track's opening in 1907. The inn and racetrack became a popular gathering place for millionaires and celebrities and consistently drew large crowds by train to watch the races held there, but both were demolished per Gay's wishes at his death in 1920.
Lakeside has long held a reputation as a "cowboy town" and "rodeo town," due to the rural setting, the prevalence of ranches and the abundant horse ownership in the area, as well as hosting an 8-acre (32,000 m2) permanent rodeo facility, the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. The venue is manned and maintained by the El Capitan Stadium Association, an all-volunteer group who aims to assist and support the youth of Lakeside by donating all proceeds from facility rentals to local sports and service, as well as education grants. Notable rodeos include the PRCA-sanctioned Lakeside Rodeo, part of their California circuit and usually occurring on the last weekend in April, regularly drawing over 20,000 observers to the arena, as well as the Lakeside Optimists' Bulls Only Rodeo in July.
Many social and service groups are very active in Lakeside including VFW, Elks, Optimist, Soroptimist, 4-H, FFA, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, youth soccer, baseball and football leagues, and the Cactus Park BMX track. The U.S. Navy maintains two large housing sites for military dependents in the town.
Today, protection of the town's history falls to the Lakeside Historical Society, which works primarily to retain and preserve the buildings in the historic former downtown along Maine Avenue, now removed from the central business hub.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Lakeside CA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative 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 numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively 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 programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lakeside CA.
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