How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Bullhead City Arizona
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Bullhead City AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally 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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Bullhead City AZ practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Bullhead City AZ dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving 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 Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with 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 Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Bullhead City AZ area community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Bullhead City AZ area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Bullhead City AZ 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. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Bullhead City AZ area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Bullhead City AZ often desire 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 provided for non-accredited Arizona programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Arizona college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Bullhead City AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep 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 school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Bullhead City AZ program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Bullhead City AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Bullhead City AZ dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Arizona programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Bullhead City AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Bullhead City AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Hygiene, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Bullhead City AZ.
A Bit About Bullhead City Arizona
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
With over 59 square miles, Bullhead City is the largest city in Mohave County in terms of total land area.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
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