How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near New Fairfield Connecticut
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near New Fairfield CT is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the New Fairfield CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing 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 graduate 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 licensure exams. After 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 Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in New Fairfield CT dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for getting your education. 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your New Fairfield CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New Fairfield CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. New Fairfield CT employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local New Fairfield CT dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to receive 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the New Fairfield CT dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the New Fairfield CT dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the New Fairfield CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near New Fairfield CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near New Fairfield CT?
New Fairfield, Connecticut
New Fairfield is an affluent town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 13,881 at the 2010 census. New Fairfield is one of five towns that surround Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in Connecticut.
In 1724, colonial settlers from Fairfield, Connecticut received approval from the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut to establish a new township. According to one account, they negotiated with Chief Squantz of the Schaghticoke tribe of Algonquian lineage. Alternatively, it is told that they did not negotiate with Chief Squantz because he moved to the north end of Squantz Pond land area and refused to "sell" the township of New Fairfield. They returned in the Spring of 1725, but found that Chief Squantz had died during the winter. His four sons and heirs refused to sign the deeds. It was not until four years later that the white men called "The Proprietors" finally got the drawn marks of several other native people who may not have had authority to sell the land. They "purchased" a 31,000 acre tract of land that is now New Fairfield and Sherman, for the equivalent of about 300 dollars and on April 24, 1729, The deed was recorded on May 9, 1729, and is now deposited in the archives of the state capital in Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1926, Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) began construction on Candlewood Lake, considered by many to be an engineering wonder. CL&P flooded the valley to control the water flow from the Housatonic and Rocky Rivers and produce hydroelectric power for the region. Candlewood Lake was named for the Native American practice of using stripped wood from pine trees as kindling for fire. The lake shares its shores with the towns of New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford, Brookfield, and Danbury. 
New Fairfield was home to the Candlewood Playhouse, a 650-seat summer stock theater run by the Gateway Playhouse, currently operating in Bellport, New York. The land once occupied by it is now a Stop and Shop supermarket.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near New Fairfield CT
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New Fairfield CT.
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