How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Greensboro Alabama
Picking the ideal dental hygienist training near Greensboro AL is an essential initial step toward beginning 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 doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Greensboro AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Greensboro AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Greensboro AL area junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Greensboro AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Greensboro AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Greensboro AL area schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Greensboro AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, many Greensboro AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Greensboro AL program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Greensboro AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Greensboro AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Alabama programs you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Greensboro AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Greensboro AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Greensboro AL
Picking the right dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Greensboro AL.
A Bit About Greensboro Alabama
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
One hundred years later, African Americans in Greensboro were among those in the state continuing to work to regain their civil rights after years of second-class status under Jim Crow. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, came here in the course of his civil rights projects in the state. In 1968, he hid from Ku Klux Klan members in what is now operated as the Safe House Black Historic Museum.
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