How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Avon Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Avon CT is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Avon CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the 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 each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Avon CT dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Avon CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Avon CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Avon CT employers frequently prefer 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 colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Avon CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Avon CT dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Avon CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Avon CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or 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 Avon CT 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 procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Avon CT?
Avon is a suburb of Hartford. Avon Old Farms School, a prestigious boarding school, is located there. In 2005, Avon was named the third-safest town in America by Money Magazine. It is home to the Pine Grove School House, which was built in 1865 and remains open today as a museum.
Avon is home to Avon High School as well as two elementary schools, Pine Grove Elementary and Roaring Brook Elementary, an intermediate (grades 5–6) school, Thompson Brook, and a middle school (grades 7–8), Avon Middle School.
The East side of Avon is flanked by Talcott Mountain, part of the Metacomet Ridge, a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to near the Vermont border. Talcott Mountain is a popular outdoor recreation resource notable for its towering western cliff faces. The 51-mile (82 km) Metacomet Trail traverses the Talcott Mountain ridge.
Avon was settled in 1645 and was originally a part of Farmington. In 1750, the parish of Northington was established in the northern part of Farmington, to support a Congregational church more accessible to the local population. Its first pastor was Ebenezer Booge, a graduate of Yale Divinity School who arrived in 1751. The Farmington Canal’s opening in 1828 brought new business to the village, which sat where the canal intersected the Talcott Mountain Turnpike linking Hartford to Albany, New York. Hopes of industrial and commercial growth spurred Avon to incorporate. In 1830, the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated Northington as the town of Avon, after County Avon in England. Such expansion never came and, in the 1900s, the rural town became a suburban enclave.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Avon CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Avon CT.
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