How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Middlefield Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Middlefield CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance 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 two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Middlefield CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. 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 Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Middlefield CT dental offices are often 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 almost 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Middlefield CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Middlefield CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Middlefield CT employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Middlefield CT dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Middlefield CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering 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 Middlefield CT dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Middlefield CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Middlefield CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Middlefield CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Middlefield CT?
Middlefield, in Middlesex County, is so named because it is halfway between Middletown and Durham, and Middletown and Meriden. For such a small community, Middlefield has an abundance of wonderful history that goes back to the late 17th century and many first settlers of Connecticut. The Old North Burying Ground was established for those living west of Middletown and the first burial was in 1738.
First Selectmen Charles R. "Charlie" Augur (in office 1995–2005) and Jon A. Brayshaw (in office 2005-2015) having both served five terms as First Selectman have been the longest-serving First Selectmen of the town. Harold Ellsworth Smith, M.D. was Middlefield's only physician for over 45 years. He and his wife, Madith Wood Smith of NYC, lived in the house built by his mother's family, and the Millers, in 1878. Dr. Smith's parents were Ernest Ellsworth Smith and Lilian Irene [Church] Smith.
Middlesex County was created on May 2, 1785 from Hartford and New Haven counties. The county was named for Middlesex, England. Middlesex County is in south-central Connecticut. It is bordered to the south by Long Island Sound and to the southwest by the Hammonasset River, and the Connecticut River bisects the county from north to south. Other waterways are the Menunketesuck River, the Moodus Reservoir, and Bashan Lake. The topography is mostly upland terrain, with river valleys and coastal lowlands. Parklands include Cockaponset State Forest, Meshomasic State Forest Preserve, and Hurd and Devil's Hopyard state parks.
The Western Nehantic Indians inhabited the area when John Winthrop the Younger established the Puritan settlement of Saybrook in the 1630s. Later renamed Old Saybrook, it was where David Bushnell invented and built the Turtle (1775), a submarine used during the American Revolution. The county was formed in 1785 and named for Middlesex, England. Essex, a center of shipbuilding from the 1720s to the 1840s, was raided during the War of 1812. There is no county seat because the state abolished county government in 1960. The largest city is Middletown, home of Wesleyan University (founded 1831).
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Middlefield CT
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your education 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Middlefield CT.
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