How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Kent Connecticut
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Kent CT is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Kent 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 area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Kent CT dental practices are generally 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 finish 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Kent CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Kent CT, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, 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. Kent CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Kent CT dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 create professional relationships in the Kent CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Kent CT dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Kent CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Kent CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Kent CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Kent CT?
Kent is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, alongside the border with New York. The population was 2,858 at the 2000 census. The town is home to three boarding schools: South Kent School, Kent School and The Marvelwood School. The Schaghticoke Indian Reservation is also located within town borders.
Kent is in Litchfield County. Its location is 41°43′29″N 73°28′39″W / 41.72472°N 73.47750°W / 41.72472; -73.47750. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.6 square miles (128 km2), of which, 48.5 square miles (126 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (2.26%) is water. Bulls Bridge, one of two covered bridges open to vehicles in Connecticut, is located in the town. The town is bisected by the Housatonic River. The western half contains Macedonia Brook State Park, the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, as well as a section of the Appalachian Trail.
Macedonia Brook State Park was first opened in 1918 with a donation of 1,552 acres (6.28 km2) from White Memorial Foundation of Litchfield. Since then, it has now grown to a size of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) and is used for outdoor recreation throughout the year.
Besides the pure beauty of Appalachia, the park also boasts extensive trails, campgrounds, a venue for large group picnics, a small hilltop lake and of course, Macedonia Brook. Visitors can also take advantage of the numerous grills set up around the park. From peaks on the Blue Trail, hikers can take in fantastic views of the Catskill Mountains and the Taconic Mountains.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Kent CT
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Kent CT.
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