How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Old Greenwich Connecticut
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Old Greenwich 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 doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at 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 role 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 in support of the Old Greenwich CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Old Greenwich CT dental practices are normally 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Old Greenwich CT home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Old Greenwich CT, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Old Greenwich CT employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Old Greenwich CT dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, practical 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 establish professional relationships in the Old Greenwich CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Old Greenwich CT dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Old Greenwich CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Old Greenwich CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Old Greenwich CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Old Greenwich CT?
Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Old Greenwich is a neighborhood/section and census-designated place in Greenwich in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 6,611. It was founded in 1641. Old Greenwich has become extremely popular for home buyers and currently ranks at 7th place among the nation's wealthiest communities in an annual Bloomberg report published March 5, 2018, "America's 100 Richest Places".
The town of Greenwich is one political and taxing body, but consists of several distinct sections or neighborhoods, such as Banksville, Byram, Cos Cob, Glenville, Mianus, Old Greenwich, Riverside and Greenwich (sometimes referred to as central, or downtown, Greenwich). Of these neighborhoods, three (Cos Cob, Old Greenwich, and Riverside) have separate postal names and ZIP codes.
One of the founding settlers of Old Greenwich was Elizabeth Fones, niece and daughter-in-law of John Winthrop, founder and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. What is now called Greenwich Point was known for much of its early history as "Elizabeth Neck" in recognition of Elizabeth (Fones) Feake Hallet and their 1640 purchase of the Point and much of the area now known as Old Greenwich.
The Old Greenwich Railroad Station, originally called the "Sound Beach Railroad Station", built in 1894 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, serves commuters in the neighborhood. The town's largest beach is on a long, thin peninsula at the southwest end of the neighborhood. The town's local beach is called Tod's Point after a former resident. The beach is now public property, which belongs to the town of Greenwich. Residents can purchase a seasonal beach pass. Non-residents can purchase a one-day pass for $20 per vehicle. During "off season", Innis Arden, a local golf club, is a popular sledding destination for kids in Old Greenwich and neighboring Stamford.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Old Greenwich CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential 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 numerous alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount 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 typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Old Greenwich CT.
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