How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Oakdale Connecticut
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Oakdale CT is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the school’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 complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties 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 in support of the Oakdale CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Oakdale CT dental offices are generally 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 virtually 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Oakdale CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oakdale CT, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Oakdale CT employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like 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 Oakdale CT dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Oakdale CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Oakdale CT dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Oakdale CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Oakdale 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 continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Oakdale CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oakdale CT?
The villages of Chesterfield, Mohegan, Oakdale, and Uncasville are located within the town; the latter two have their own ZIP Codes. Town residents often identify with these villages more than the Town of Montville as a whole, and the Mohegan Sun casino resort is nearby.
In the 17th century, when English settlers arrived, southeastern Connecticut was the scene of rivalry between the Pequot people, the dominant Native American group in the New London area, and the newly independent Mohegan. The latter became friendly to the English. For defense against the Pequot, the Mohegan sachem Uncas had established a fortified village on a promontory above the Thames River within what is now the town of Montville. The Mohegan village, now known as Fort Shantok, was protected on the inland side by palisades first built in about 1636 at the time of the Pequot War, rebuilt during wars with the Narragansett people circa 1653–1657, and rebuilt again at the time of King Philip's War (1675–1676).
When the boundaries of New London (then called "Pequot") were first defined in 1646, the Oxoboxo River formed the northern boundary. Parts of the modern town of Montville lying south of the river were included in New London, while the area north of the river was treated as Mohegan land. Over time the settlers assumed control of Mohegan lands. In 1703 the area between the Oxoboxo River and Norwich (now part of the town of Montville) was annexed by New London.
In 1786 Montville was separated from New London and incorporated as a separate Town. Before incorporation, it was known as the North Parish of New London. In 1819 the adjacent Town of Salem was formed from parts of the towns of Montville, Lyme, and Colchester. The name "Montville" signifies "mountain village".
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Oakdale CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend 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 acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oakdale CT.
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