How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Childersburg Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Childersburg AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year 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. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Childersburg AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After 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 indispensable part of any Childersburg AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing 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 deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Childersburg AL area junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Childersburg AL area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Childersburg AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Childersburg AL area schools you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Childersburg AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Alabama school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, many Childersburg AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher 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 college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in 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, confirm that the Childersburg AL college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Childersburg AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 Childersburg AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Alabama colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ 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 in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Childersburg AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Childersburg AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What made you decide on Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Childersburg AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Childersburg AL.
A Bit About Childersburg Alabama
Childersburg is a city in Talladega County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated in 1889. At the 2010 census the population was 5,175. It claims a history dating back before 1540, when it was noted as a village of the Coosa Nation visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, important during World War II, was located 4 miles (6 km) north of Childersburg.
Childersburg is located at 33°16′31″N 86°21′11″W / 33.27528°N 86.35306°W / 33.27528; -86.35306 (33.275187, −86.353166).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.6 square miles (32.6 km2), of which 12.4 square miles (32.0 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 2.00%, is water.
Successive indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, people identified as part of the Kymulga-phase culture (of the larger Mississippian culture) lived at Talisi, the former site of Childersburg. In the fall of 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about one month during its exploration of the Southeast. Childersburg calls itself "The Oldest City in America". The Abihka people (part of those who became known as the Muskogee or Creek) dominated the area by the 18th century.
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