How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Centerbrook Connecticut
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Centerbrook CT is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role 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 on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Centerbrook CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains 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
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Centerbrook CT dental practices are often 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 virtually 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Centerbrook CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Centerbrook CT, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Centerbrook CT employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Centerbrook CT dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Centerbrook CT dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Centerbrook CT dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Centerbrook CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Centerbrook CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Centerbrook CT?
Centerbrook is a hamlet located in the town of Essex, Connecticut. The village is home to numerous businesses, the Essex Steam Train, a post office, and Essex Elementary School. It has many houses but it is generally considered the more commercial part of Essex.
The village consists of the area immediately west of the Route 9 expressway, extending southwest along Route 153 to Tiffany Brook, west along Main Street to Earl Street, and north along Route 154 to Route 9.
There are two churches in Centerbrook- a Lutheran church, which sits on Main Street just before the school, and a Congregational Church, which sits between the Mobil station and the former Debbie's Restaurant.
The main station of the Essex Steam Train is located in Centerbrook. The steam train has tracks from Amtrak's Shore Line (part of the Northeast Corridor) in Old Saybrook to Haddam. The steam train and riverboat ride goes from Essex to Chester on the train, but the Dinner Train goes from Essex to just north of Route 82 in Haddam.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Centerbrook CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Centerbrook CT.
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