How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Norwich Connecticut
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Norwich CT is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make 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 least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Norwich 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 initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Norwich CT dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Norwich CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Norwich CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make 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 college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Norwich CT employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Norwich CT dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Norwich CT dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Norwich CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Norwich CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Norwich CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Norwich CT?
Norwich, known as 'The Rose of New England', is a city in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 40,493 at the 2010 United States Census. Three rivers, the Yantic, the Shetucket, and the Quinebaug, flow into the city and form its harbor, from which the Thames River flows south to Long Island Sound.
Norwichtown was founded in 1659, by settlers from Old Saybrook led by Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch. They purchased the land "nine miles square" that would become Norwich from the local Native Mohegan Sachem Uncas. In 1668, a wharf was established at Yantic Cove. Settlement was primarily in the three-mile (5-km) area around the Norwichtown Green. The 69 founding families soon divided up the land in the Norwichtown vicinity for farms and businesses.
By 1694, the public landing built at the head of the Thames River allowed ships to offload goods at the harbor; the harbor area is known as the Chelsea neighborhood. The distance between the port and Norwichtown was serviced by the East and West Roads, which later became Washington Street and Broadway.
The original center of the town was a neighborhood now called Norwichtown, an inland location chosen to be the center of a primarily agricultural farming community. By the latter 18th century, shipping at the harbor began to become far more important than farming, especially when industrial mills began manufacturing on the three smaller rivers.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Norwich CT
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Norwich CT.
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