How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near North Stonington Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist school near North Stonington CT is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, 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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the North Stonington CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in North Stonington CT dental practices are often required to have 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 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for getting 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 balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your North Stonington CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical 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 receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in North Stonington CT, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College 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 requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. North Stonington CT employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local North Stonington CT dental office that focuses on dental care 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 means to receive 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 professional relationships in the North Stonington CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the North Stonington CT dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the North Stonington CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the North Stonington CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near North Stonington CT at nights 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 practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near North Stonington CT?
North Stonington, Connecticut
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 55.0 square miles (142 km2), of which 54.3 square miles (141 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), or 1.20%, is water.
The land of North Stonington is located at the southeast corner of the state of Connecticut. Until the 17th century, the Pequots, the Niantics, and the Narragansetts were the residents in this area of southeastern Connecticut and adjacent parts of Rhode Island. Little is known about Native American activities in North Stonington prior to English colonization in the area.
The Pequots' imprint remained in the town, however. The first white settlers kept a number of their names for the town's main geological features, including the town's main water course of Shunock Brook, as well as Assekonk Swamp and Wintechog and Cossaduck hills. Further, colonial authorities eventually allotted two reservations to the Pequot tribe, including a plot of land on the eastern bank of Long Pond adjacent to Lantern Hill in the southwestern corner of the town, established in 1683.
For much of the 17th century, North Stonington was thinly populated by the Pequots and European settlers. Starting in the 1630s and 1640s, the English established coastline settlements in Wequetequock, which is now Old Mystic, and Pawcatuck. However, the pressure of a growing population and continued immigration in succeeding decades caused homesteading to steadily push northward. The end of hostilities following King Philip's War of 1676 and a partial resolution of border disputes among Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts colonies also encouraged enterprising pioneers to move inland to stake claims.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near North Stonington CT
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in North Stonington CT.
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