How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near New Canaan Connecticut
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near New Canaan CT is an important 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 performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the New Canaan CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in New Canaan 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 virtually 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your New Canaan CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. 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 necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New Canaan CT, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several 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 provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, 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 training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. New Canaan CT employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local New Canaan CT dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the New Canaan CT dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the New Canaan CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the New Canaan CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near New Canaan CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near New Canaan CT?
New Canaan, Connecticut
New Canaan /njuː ˈkeɪnən/ is an affluent town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Greenwich, 36 miles (58 km) west of New Haven and 48 miles (77 km) northeast of New York City. The population was 19,738 according to the 2010 census. In 2008 New Canaan had the highest median family income in the country.
Considered part of Connecticut's Gold Coast, New Canaan is known for its public school system, its wide range of architecture from the Harvard Five modern homes to historic New England colonials and farmhouses, as well as a signature town center with premiere shopping, classic boutiques, and an elaborate display of lights for the Holidays. Residents carol on Church Hill every Christmas Eve, a town tradition since 1916.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.1 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 1.56%, is water. New Canaan is the only municipality on the Connecticut Panhandle that does not border the coast. Such proximity to New York City proved worthy of its own connection to the New Haven Railroad, being the only town to do so. New Canaan station and Talmadge Hill station are both on the New Canaan Branch of the New Haven Line, and transfer is possible in Stamford south to Manhattan. Many New Canaan residents commute to New York regularly, with travel time to Grand Central Terminal approximately 70 minutes. New Canaan is also heavily served by the historic Merritt Parkway, as the third municipality when driving through Connecticut from New York City.
The downtown area consists of many fine restaurants, an old Bow Tie Cinemas movie theater, library, the Victorian train station, antique shops, a book store, a saddlery boutique and various fine clothing and interior decorating shops. In addition to the many local boutiques and businesses, many national chains stores can be found in the downtown area, including Ralph Lauren and Ralph Lauren Children, Ann Taylor, J. McLaughlin, Papyrus, Vineyard Vines, Le Pain Quotidien, and Starbucks, among others. There are also several churches in town (Catholic and various Protestant denominations) as well as the historic Roger Sherman Inn, established in 1740. Most major banks and many wealth managements firms have a presence in New Canaan, including J.P Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, UBS, Citibank and Bank of America, among others. Several hedge funds are also based in New Canaan.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near New Canaan CT
Picking the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New Canaan CT.
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