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How do I Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Schools?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four items necessary to choose the best dental hygienist schools: find an accredited school, faculty qualifications, post-graduate programs, and graduate employment statistics. A dental hygienist is a member of the dental health services team. They are responsible for cleaning teeth, inspecting gums, removing tartar build-up and providing advice on good oral health.

A graduate of dental hygienist schools can find employment opportunities in a dentist office. Some states have changed the law to allow dental hygienists to open their own practice, offering teeth cleaning services to the public. This change has been met with positive feedback and may expand in the future to more locations.

In order to qualify for admission to dental hygienist schools, a combination of high school courses and a personal interview are required. The required high school courses include biology, chemistry, English, and computer classes. The purpose of the personal interview is to determine the person's suitability for this profession. As a dental hygienist, a significant amount of time is spent with patients. It is important to be both meticulous and friendly.

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The first item to check for with dental hygienist schools is the accreditation status. An accredited school has been inspected by an independent third party. The examination includes both administrative and academic policies. Courses from an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certifying and licensing boards. Accredited schools are also able to offer students access to government student aid programs.

Review the qualifications of the faculty or course instructors. Most schools provide access to the biographies of their course instructors. Check the academic credentials and work experience of the instructors. Look for instructors with recent workplace experience, or connections to industry through membership to association boards and other committees. It is very important for the course instructors to have a clear understanding of what is currently required in the workplace.

Look for post-graduate certificates or programs offered by dental hygienist schools. These programs are typically focused on a specific subject or type of client. Common certificates include dental health of the elderly, identification of mouth cancer, and pediatric oral health. These certificates keep your skills current and may be offered at a discounted cost if you completed your dental hygienist training at the same school.

All post-secondary educational institutes keep track of graduate employment statistics. These records are collected by dental hygienist schools three, six, and 12 months after graduation. Included in these reports are starting salary, position title, full time or part time, contract or permanent position, and the relevance of training to the position. This information provides a real picture of the employment opportunities available to graduates and the starting salary range that you can anticipate upon graduation.

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