How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Westmont Illinois
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Westmont IL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making 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 college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, such as the program’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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges 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 Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Westmont IL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial 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 may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Exam 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, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Westmont IL dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Westmont IL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Westmont IL, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Westmont IL employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate 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, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Westmont IL dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain 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 establish professional relationships in the Westmont IL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Westmont IL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Westmont IL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Westmont IL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Westmont IL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have 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 work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Westmont IL?
Westmont is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Westmont is a community of 5.03 square miles in area. Westmont had a 2000 population of 24,554, a partial special census was conducted 2007 resulting in a population of 26,211, and the census of 2010 put the population at 24,685. It is located approximately 18 miles (29 km) west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County.
The area known as Westmont was inhabited by the Potawatami until the year 1833. After several failed attempts by the U.S. government to persuade the Native Americans to move from the area, in 1833, the Native Americans agreed under coercion to vacate their land for nominal payment.
The development of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, authorized by the State of Illinois in the 1820s but delayed in construction until the 1830s, contributed to Westmont's early growth. When the economic Panic of 1837 halted canal construction, many of the workers turned to farming, and agriculture became the major occupation, with produce sold in nearby Chicago. The area around Westmont became one of the most prosperous sections of the state.
In order to transport agricultural products into the city of Chicago, construction of a plank road originating in Chicago began in 1840. The plank road was placed over the nine-mile (14 km) swamp separating Chicago and the area that became Westmont, and reached Naperville, Illinois by 1851. Today, this roadway is known as Ogden Avenue (U.S. Route 34).
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Westmont IL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire 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 typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Westmont IL.
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