How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Aledo Illinois
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Aledo IL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the college’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Aledo IL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Aledo IL dental offices are normally 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Aledo IL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Aledo IL, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Aledo IL employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Aledo IL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Aledo IL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Aledo IL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Aledo IL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost 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 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 expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Aledo IL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Aledo IL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, 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 need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Aledo IL?
Aledo /ʌˈliːdoʊ/ (u-LEE-doh) is a city in Mercer County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,640 at the 2010 census, up from 3,613 in 2000. It is the county seat of Mercer County.
According to the 2010 census, Aledo has a total area of 2.392 square miles (6.20 km2), of which 2.38 square miles (6.16 km2) (or 99.5%) is land and 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.5%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,640 people, 1,568 households, and 947 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% (3,586) white; 0.6% (22) African American; 0.0% (1) Native American; 0.3% (12) Asian; 0.1% (4) from other races; and 0.4% (15) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% (45) of the population.
There were 1,568 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.84.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist School near Aledo IL
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program 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 many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Aledo IL.
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