How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Killingworth Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Killingworth CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Killingworth CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Killingworth CT dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Killingworth CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Killingworth CT, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing 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 best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order 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 of the highest quality and comprehensive. Killingworth CT employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Killingworth CT dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get 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 create professional relationships in the Killingworth CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Killingworth CT dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Killingworth CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example 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 expenses 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 include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Killingworth CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Killingworth CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Killingworth CT?
Killingworth was established from the area called Hammonasset, taken from the local Native American tribe of the same name. The area originally incorporated the town of Clinton, which were separated along ecclesiastical borders. Part of New London County prior to May 1785, Killingworth was then included in the newly formed Middlesex County, where it remains today.
It was named after Kenilworth, England in honor of one of the first settlers, Edward Griswold. Kenilworth's name was more similar to "Killingworth" during the American colonial period, and over time the pronunciation and spelling drifted towards the modern one. Coincidentally, there is a town and village in England called Killingworth and Killingworth Village in the county of Tyne and Wear, which do not seem to have any connection with Killingworth, Connecticut.
In the late 17th century, Killingworth became the birthplace of what would eventually become Yale University. The Rev. Abraham Pierson, the college's first president, taught some of the first classes in his Killingworth home - which is actually in present-day Clinton, Connecticut. However, in 1701, the college's first official home was constructed in Old Saybrook on the peninsula known as Saybrook Point. Eventually the school was moved to its present-day home in New Haven.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has an area of 35.8 square miles (93 km2). Of this total, 35.3 square miles (91 km2) is dry land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) – or 1.34% – is water-covered.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Killingworth CT
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Killingworth CT.
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