How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Niantic Connecticut
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Niantic CT is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Niantic 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 interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Niantic CT dental offices are generally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Niantic CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Niantic CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Niantic CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Niantic CT dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Niantic CT dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Niantic CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, 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 substantial expenses 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 programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Niantic CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Niantic CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Niantic CT?
Niantic is a census-designated place (CDP) and village in the town of East Lyme, Connecticut in the United States. The population was 3,114 at the 2010 census. It is located on Long Island Sound, the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Waterford is visible on the bay's eastern horizon line, Rocky Neck State Park is also located in the area. Niantic was once famous for its Niantic River scallops, but the scallop population has been in decline for a number of years.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which 1.5 square miles (3.8 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), or 58.64%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,085 people, 1,404 households, and 835 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,110.3 people per square mile (815.8/km2). There were 1,756 housing units at an average density of 1,201.2 per square mile (464.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.63% White, 0.49% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.11% of the population.
There were 1,404 households out of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.81.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Niantic CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to acquire your training 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually 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 addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Niantic CT.
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