How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near New London Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist program near New London CT is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance the school’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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties 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 independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the New London CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. Once 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 Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in New London CT dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your New London CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in New London CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. New London CT employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers adequate 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 program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local New London CT dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the New London CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the New London CT dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the New London CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the New London CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near New London CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near New London CT?
New London, Connecticut
For several decades beginning in the early 19th century, New London was one of the world's three busiest whaling ports, along with Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. New London subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but has gradually lost its commercial and industrial heart.
New London is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, and The Williams School. The Coast Guard Station New London and New London Harbor is home port to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chinook and the Coast Guard's tall ship Eagle. The city had a population of 27,620 at the 2010 census. The Norwich-New London metropolitan area (NECTA) includes twenty-one towns and 274,055 people.
The area was called Nameaug by the Pequot Indians. John Winthrop, Jr. founded the first English settlement here in 1646, making it about the 13th town settled in Connecticut. Inhabitants informally referred to it as Nameaug or as Pequot after the tribe. In the 1650s, the colonists wanted to give the town the official name of London after London, England, but the Connecticut General Assembly wanted to name it Faire Harbour. The citizens protested, declaring that they would prefer it to be called Nameaug if it couldn't be officially named London. The legislature relented, and the town was officially named New London on March 10, 1658.
The harbor was considered to be the best deep water harbor on Long Island Sound, and consequently New London became a base of American naval operations during the American Revolutionary War. Famous New Londoners during the American Revolution include Nathan Hale, William Coit, Richard Douglass, Thomas and Nathaniel Shaw, Gen. Samuel Parsons, printer Timothy Green, and Bishop Samuel Seabury.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near New London CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in New London CT.
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