How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Summerdale Alabama
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Summerdale AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors 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 provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Summerdale AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Summerdale AL dental practice and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming 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 handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Summerdale AL area community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the increased 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 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 Summerdale AL area trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your training. 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 available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Summerdale AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical 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 get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Summerdale AL area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning 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 school 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 Summerdale AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama college you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Summerdale AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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 right school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Summerdale AL college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Summerdale 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Summerdale AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Alabama colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Summerdale AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Summerdale AL home 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Summerdale AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Summerdale AL.
A Bit About Summerdale Alabama
Summerdale is a rural town in south-central Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. It is the site of the Naval Outlying Field Summerdale. At the 2010 census the population was 862. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Summerdale is located at 30°29'15.468" North, 87°42'4.036" West (30.487630, -87.701121).Alabama State Route 59 passes along the west side of the town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Robertsdale and south 6 miles (10 km) to Foley.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25.2 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25.1 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 655 people, 255 households, and 184 families residing in the town. The population density was 125.7 people per square mile (48.5/km²). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.23% White, 4.89% Black or African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. Nearly 2.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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