How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Notasulga Alabama
Selecting the right dental hygienist training near Notasulga AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Notasulga AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 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 can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Notasulga AL dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Notasulga AL area junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Notasulga AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Notasulga AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Notasulga AL area colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Notasulga AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alabama college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Notasulga 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 college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers sufficient 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, check that the Notasulga AL program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Notasulga AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Notasulga AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Alabama colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Notasulga AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Notasulga AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What made you select Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Notasulga AL
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or 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 best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Notasulga AL.
A Bit About Notasulga Alabama
Notasulga is a town in Lee and Macon counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 965, up from 916 in 2000. The portion in Lee County is part of the Auburn Metropolitan Area. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, it incorporated in 1893. Author Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga in 1891.
Notasulga is located at 32°33′39″N 85°40′3″W / 32.56083°N 85.66750°W / 32.56083; -85.66750 (32.560821, -85.667631).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14 square miles (36 km2), of which 13.9 square miles (36 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.43%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 916 people, 393 households, and 260 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.9 people per square mile (25.4/km²). There were 446 housing units at an average density of 32.1 per square mile (12.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 66.27% White, 32.42% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.55% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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