How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Larkspur California
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Larkspur CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing 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 assists the Larkspur CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing 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 Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Larkspur CA dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Larkspur CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Larkspur CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program 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. Larkspur CA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Larkspur CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Larkspur CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Larkspur CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Larkspur CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near Larkspur CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Larkspur CA?
Larkspur is a city in Marin County, California, United States. Larkspur is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of San Rafael, at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 11,926. Larkspur is located north of San Francisco near Mount Tamalpais. Larkspur's Police Department is shared with that of the neighboring Corte Madera and town of San Anselmo as the Central Marin Police Authority. Intersecting Larkspur's downtown is Madrone Canyon, a residential area amidst a redwood grove.
Charles W. Wright laid out the town in 1887. The first post office opened in 1891. Larkspur incorporated in 1908.Larkspur's Downtown Historic District, known also as Old Downtown Larkspur, is a historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The restored Art Deco Lark Theater is part of this downtown district.
In the United States House of Representatives, Larkspur is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman. From 2008 to 2012, Huffman represented Marin County in the California State Assembly.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Larkspur had a population of 11,926. The population density was 3,677.5 people per square mile (1,419.9/km²). The racial makeup of Larkspur was 10,311 (86.5%) White, 186 (1.6%) African American, 26 (0.2%) Native American, 563 (4.7%) Asian, 13 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 343 (2.9%) from other races, and 484 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 918 persons (7.7%).
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Larkspur CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing 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 best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Larkspur CA.
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