How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Benson Arizona
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Benson AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Benson AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings 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
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Benson AZ dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing 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 consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Benson AZ area community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. 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 also offered in Benson AZ area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Benson AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Benson AZ area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Benson AZ typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Arizona school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, many Benson AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Benson AZ school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Benson AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need assistance obtaining 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 probably have excellent reputations within the Benson AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Arizona schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs 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, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Benson AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Benson AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What made you pick Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Hygiene, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Benson AZ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Benson AZ.
A Bit About Benson Arizona
Benson is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 45 miles (72 km) east-southeast of Tucson. It was founded as a rail terminal for the area, and still serves as such. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,105.
The city was founded in 1880 when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through. It was named after Judge William S. Benson, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the Southern Pacific. The railroad, coming overland from California, chose the Benson site to cross the San Pedro River. Benson then served as a rail junction point to obtain ore and refined metal by wagon, in turn shipping rail freight back to the mines at Tombstone, Fairbank, Contention City and Bisbee. For example, the railhead in Benson was about 25 miles (40 km) from Tombstone, and was the closest rail connection to it until 1882, when a feeder line was laid from Benson to Contention City.
The railhead in Benson was founded about a mile from a traditional crossing of the upper San Pedro River (known also as the Middle Crossing), used by the Southern Emigrant Trail and San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line. It was the site of the San Pedro Station of the Butterfield Overland Mail and a wagon depot, the San Pedro River Station, run since 1871 by William Ohnesorgen. In 1878 he had erected a toll bridge over which mining supplies were transported to the new mining camps such as Fairbank and Tombstone. Two years later this bridge marked the location of the railroad bridge that became the terminal site of Benson.
The city today is perhaps best known as the gateway to Kartchner Caverns State Park. It is also home to the acclaimed Singing Wind Bookshop, which specializes in books about the Southwest.
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