How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Greens Farms Connecticut
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Greens Farms CT is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job 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 in support of the Greens Farms CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After 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 Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Greens Farms CT dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Greens Farms CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Greens Farms CT, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Greens Farms CT employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Greens Farms CT dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Greens Farms CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Greens Farms CT dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the schools you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Greens Farms CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Greens Farms 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 especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Greens Farms CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Greens Farms CT?
Greens Farms Academy
Greens Farms Academy (GFA) is a PreK-12 independent preparatory co-educational day school in the Greens Farms section of Westport, Connecticut, drawing 695 students from numerous towns of central southern Fairfield County. Greens Farms Academy is located on a campus near Long Island Sound, a salt marsh and an Audubon woodland. Some of the buildings that make up the school were previously part of a family estate belonging to the Vanderbilts. Since being converted to a school, multiple buildings have been added to the original estate, including a new section for the Upper and Middle schools.
Greens Farms Academy was an all woman's preparatory school when it was first established in 1925. The school converted to a co-educational system in later years, but still keeps many of its traditions.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Greens Farms CT
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Greens Farms CT.
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