How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Beacon Falls Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Beacon Falls CT is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Beacon Falls CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Beacon Falls CT dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Beacon Falls CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Beacon Falls CT, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included 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 School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Beacon Falls CT employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Beacon Falls CT dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Beacon Falls CT dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Beacon Falls CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Beacon Falls CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Beacon Falls CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Beacon Falls CT?
Beacon Falls, Connecticut
Beacon Falls is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut. It lies in the southwestern part of the state, and is bisected by the Naugatuck River. The population was 5,246 at the 2000 census. The population increased to 6,049 at the 2010 census.
The history of Beacon Falls is tied to the series of manufacturing concerns that operated in the town's impressive brick factory buildings on North Main Street, adjacent to the Naugatuck River. The last and most successful of those concerns was the Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries rubber manufacturing thrived in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. This followed the invention and 1844 patent, by Connecticut native Charles Goodyear, of a chemical process called Vulcanization to convert natural rubber into a durable, flexible, waterproof material. In the 1850s the American Hard Rubber Company built a brick factory in Beacon Falls, utilizing water power from the Naugatuck River. The company made buttons, whip sockets, and powder flasks. After that company was acquired and moved to Long Island, the empty brick building was bought by the Home Woolen Company, which in the 1860s expanded and manufactured woolen shawls, popular at the time with men, women and Civil War soldiers. The Home Woolen Company thrived for 20-plus years until it became insolvent in 1887.
The 1898 inception of the Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company lay in the decision of Samuel J. Lewis, President of the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Co. of Naugatuck, Connecticut, and his son Tracy S. Lewis, Secretary and Treasurer of that company, to resign and start a new business together. In 1898 the two Lewis men bought the Home Woolen Company facility and started the Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company. The new company enjoyed great success for over two decades. From 150 pairs of shoes manufactured in 1899, by 1920 5.5 million pair were shipped; during that same time the town's population doubled. The company specialized in rubber soled boots with leather uppers (like today's "L.L. Bean" boots), and rubber soled athletic shoes with canvas uppers (now called "sneakers"). The footwear was marketed under the brand name, "Top Notch."
The Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company was a tremendous physical, economic, and cultural presence in Beacon Falls. It made major civic efforts to enhance the town and the lives of its employees, including building a movie theater, with an assembly room and dance hall for public use, sponsoring a musical band that gave daily performances, and commissioning the influential landscape architectural firm Olmsted Brothers to create an overall design for company lands and buildings. The resulting plan embraced the Tracy S. Lewis House and a neighborhood of workers' homes above the factory.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Beacon Falls CT
Picking the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Beacon Falls CT.
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