How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Lakeside Connecticut
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Lakeside CT is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lakeside CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lakeside CT dental practices are usually 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 almost 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lakeside CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lakeside CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending 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 college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lakeside CT employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Lakeside CT dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools 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. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lakeside CT dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Lakeside CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate 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 whether 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lakeside CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting 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 must go to classes near Lakeside CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical 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 responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lakeside CT?
Morris is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 2,388 at the 2010 census. The town consists of rolling hill country surrounding Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in the state, covering about 1,200.5 acres (4.858 km2).
Morris was settled about 1723 and organized in 1767 as the South Farms parish of Litchfield. Morris was initially a farming community. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1859 and named for James Morris (1752–1820) a Revolutionary War soldier.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), of which, 17.2 square miles (45 km2) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (8.17%) is water.
Rather than a mayoral system, the local government of Morris is run by three Selectmen elected by the town at large. The First Selectman is the full-time chief executive and administrative officer responsible for the day-to-day operation of the town government. The Board of Selectmen establishes administrative and personnel policies and executes town policies and regulations.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Lakeside CT
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important 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 several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lakeside CT.
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