Friday, June 01, 2007

Alabama Dental Hygiene Program

We just returned from our mandatory course for the doctor sponsors of students enrolled in the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program. This unique program enables students to obtain the necessary education and training to become dental hygienists. Alabama is the only state with this type program. It is administered by the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners and requires the student attend intense weeks of study in a university setting. Then the student returns for clinical training and experience in the office under the direction of the sponsoring dentist. They must complete additional hours of didactic study by returning to Birmingham over many long weekends throughout the year. There are several university based programs in Alabama as well, but this program is particularly valuable to students wishing to stay employed while receiving their education. It's also great for the dentists because you don't loose a good employee.

You have to be a full time assistant for one year before entering the hygiene program. There are also didactic tests along the way in anatomy, pathology, etc. The courses are more difficult than many anticipate. In fact, many students do not complete the program due to poor academic performance. However, if a student passes the program, they become eligible to take the Alabama Board Exam for licensure. They said us doctors could come down and attend classes with the hygiene students if we wanted to. Umm, I'm not so sure about that...

Details of the program can be found here: ADHP Information

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

My daughter just finished this program, with great success I might add/brag. It's no cake walk by any means. She spent hours and hours reading, studying, performing skills for the dentist, etc. I don't understand why some don't consider this a true training method. It's very intensive and hands on. Probably more-so than a "regular" collegiate course. Vicki

Anonymous said...

I am interested in this program and would welcome any advice you could give. I have been a chairside assistant for 20 years with a pediatric dentist in Albany, GA. I will be relocating to the Montgomery area in spring/summer 2008. Could you tell me the best way to go about applying for the dental hygiene program? I also would like any infomation on applying for employment in the Montgomery area. Thank you so much. Your website is awesome and I look forward to hearing from you. My email is valentinehrt@yahoo.com

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Check out the link on the post to the ADHP. Remember you have to be a dental assistant for a year before you apply. I am not sure if you have to be employed in Alabama or not. Contact Mary Ann Wilkinson at the board. They are good to answer all these kinds of questions on the program. Sorry, but I can't help you on the employment thing.

Anonymous said...

I am a college-trained hygienist. All other states do not approve of this kind of training. I will not go into all of that here, but anyone who truly wants to become a hygienist, needs to explore all their options. I am extremely proud of my degree-I graduated first in my class!

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

You should be proud. By the way, Alabama also has four year degree programs too. Yes, a student should look at all options.

Anonymous said...

Hey! First wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading for your blogs. They have been very interesting. The desinger travel tooth brush? haha who would have thought..
I have just recently graduated from high school, and I am set on becomming and Dental Hygienist.. I've decided that I want to go about becoming that by going through the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program.. And inorder to do that I know you have to be a full time Dental Assistant for at least a year. So I was wondering if you might have a little insight, or advice on which dentist would be good to work and learn from. and who is a dentist around this area that would be able to sponsor me.. any help would be greatly appericated.. thank Youuu! :-)
Bethita49@hotmail.com

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

You can always send your resume to a prospective dental office. Even if they are not hiring, they may give you a call later on. You can apply to the hygiene program once you have some experience as a dental assistant.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in the program and would like to know if I would be able to use my licence in any other state after being awarded it when completeing the program in Alabama. Please let me know.
Thanks
email: lovemymarlo@yahoo.com

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

The Alabama license obtained through the ADHP is good only in Alabama. Contact the program for more info.

Anonymous said...

This is not the way dental hygienist should be trained. They should be required to attend a dental hygiene school. This is unfair for RDHs that are formally trained and attended dental hygiene schools.

Anonymous said...

Education is priceless, just ask Dr. Brandon why he suffered through the years of education to do what he does.. I am sure he would say to be the best at what he does. With that in mind, Al prophy techs are not allowed to take national boards, have the education to recognize systemic diseases, which most all have oral manifestations first, and made decisions in Oral Health Care. They are paid to "clean teeth". That is not what the career Registered Hygienist is all about! If you truly want to have a career in Dental Hygiene please investigate accredited college programs. Oh yea, go to RDH Mag and check out the salary difference! You are also paid for your education, which is why Al Dentist want to keep you under educated, more $$$ for them! Alabama is the only state that allows for this to go on, this is a public health issue!
I am an Alabama Resident, Educated RDH who travels across state lines to practice my profession!

Aamy Lee said...

I have enjoyed reading your blogs & i'm interested in this program

TC said...

I am a Registered Dental Hygienist who attained my license through the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program. I must say, it's no cake walk. The curriculum of two year and/or four year programs, is also the curriculum of the ADHP. The information given is the same, just at a faster pace, which in my opinion, makes it more difficult than your traditional program requirements. In addition, the knowledge gained studying and working directly with a sponsoring doctor is priceless! If an ADHP educated hygienist can meet the requirements of a national board exam,or any other state board exam, why not?!?!?

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Good point TC!

Anonymous said...

hello, I been dental hygiene and dental assistant for long time. i gratuarted from high shcool and and i am in college right now .. i finished all my pre - req classes and almost done with my BS degree .. but i am really intrested in the Dental hygiene program.. i wanting to get in the program soon.. please help me how to apply .. i applid to lots of colleges but i am geting rejecting or in waiting list some somereason.. so can you please tell me how to apply to this program please email me dhara_hpatel@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

i had my 3rd molar removed in 91 and now i am getting a new lower L and R molar is this bad or good?

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Stranger things have happened like formation of latent 4th molars, etc. Might not be though. I would definitely get it checked out.