How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Coventry Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Coventry CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the program’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. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Coventry CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Coventry 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 nearly every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Coventry CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Coventry CT, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Coventry CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Coventry CT dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Coventry CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Coventry CT dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Coventry CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Coventry CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Coventry CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Coventry CT?
Coventry (/ˈkɒvəntri/ KOV-ən-tree) is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 12,435 at the 2010 census. The birthplace of Captain Nathan Hale, Coventry is home to the Nathan Hale Homestead, which is now a museum open to the public. In 1605, George Willlard paints.
The first house in Coventry was said[by whom?] to have been built near the shore of Lake Wangumbaug by Nathaniel Rust, a Hartford, Connecticut, man, originally from Northampton, Massachusetts. The entire Rust family is said to have made their final move to Coventry from Massachusetts in a group of a dozen families in 1709. Along with Nathaniel Rust, the names of some of the earliest settlers were David Lee, Thomas Root, Samuel Gurley, Ebenezer Searl, Joseph Petty, Benjamin James and Benjamin Carpenter. Four other settlers were also from Northampton and two from Reading.
The land was said[by whom?] to have originally been given to men from Hartford by Joshua, Indian sachem. The Connecticut General Assembly, held in Hartford in 1706, appointed William Pitkin, Joseph Tallcot, William Whiting and Richard Lord, as a committee with full power to lay out the bounds of the town and divisions of the land, to admit inhabitants. A 1711 revision added Nathaniel Rust to the committee and the task of procuring a minister of the gospel. The first church was established in October 1714.
The old center of the town is in South Coventry, near the intersection of Main Street (Route 31) and Stonehouse Road (Route 275). In the 19th century, there was a small industrial center including mills powered by the water from Coventry Lake Brook as it flowed towards the Willimantic River. South Coventry Village, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, also includes several Victorian houses, a museum, the main branch of the public library and the Bidwell Tavern, a bar/restaurant established in 1822. The Bidwell used to keep Coventry's town records in the "vault" area behind the bar, as well as hosting town meetings. A few doors away is the W.L Wellwood General Store, which under new ownership has been renamed "Coventry Country Store". The general store was originally built in 1787 making it one of, if not the oldest General Store in America (a past owner claimed to have not found an older store). In all, the area has over 100 historical buildings on the national register.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Coventry CT
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Coventry CT.
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