How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near New Haven Connecticut
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near New Haven CT is an important initial 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, including the program’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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the New Haven CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in New Haven CT dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your New Haven CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New Haven CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. New Haven CT employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides enough 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, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local New Haven CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional 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 are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the New Haven CT dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the New Haven CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools 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 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 associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the New Haven CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near New Haven CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near New Haven CT?
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. With a population of 129,779 as determined by the 2010 United States Census, it is the second-largest city in Connecticut after Bridgeport. New Haven is the principal municipality of Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010.
New Haven was the first planned city in America. Founded in 1638 by English Puritans, a year later eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating what is commonly known as the "Nine Square Plan". The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square, and the center of Downtown New Haven. The Green is now a National Historic Landmark and the "Nine Square Plan" is recognized by the American Planning Association as a National Planning Landmark. The Green also serves as a free public WiFi hotspot.
New Haven is the home of Yale University. As New Haven's biggest taxpayer and employer, Yale serves as an integral part of the city's economy. Health care (hospitals and biotechnology), professional services (legal, architectural, marketing, and engineering), financial services, and retail trade also contribute to the city's economic activity.
The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. The New York Times said the city has "Art almost everywhere you look."
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near New Haven CT
Enrolling in the ideal 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 numerous options available to receive 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New Haven CT.
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