How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Old Saybrook Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Old Saybrook CT is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier 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 colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Old Saybrook CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Old Saybrook CT dental practices are usually 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 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Old Saybrook CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Old Saybrook CT, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Old Saybrook CT employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides enough 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, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Old Saybrook CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional 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 Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Old Saybrook CT dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Old Saybrook CT dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Old Saybrook CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Old Saybrook CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Old Saybrook CT?
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Old Saybrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,242 at the 2010 census. It contains the incorporated borough of Fenwick, as well as the census-designated places of Old Saybrook Center and Saybrook Manor.
In 1624, shortly after establishing their first settlement at Governors Island, Dutch settlers established a short-lived factory at present day Old Saybrook. The trading post was named Kievits Hoek, or "Plover's Corner". Kievits Hoek was soon abandoned as the Dutch consolidated settlement at New Amsterdam. In 1633, Fort Goede Hoop (Huys de Goede Hoop), was established at present-day Hartford.
Following the August 1636 Massachusetts Bay attack on Manisses, Pequot, and Western Niantic villages, the Pequot retaliation fell on the English at Saybrook. During an eight-month time period, the Pequot killed and wounded more than twenty English at and near Saybrook Fort. The English were attacked when they ventured far from their palisade, and the Pequot destroyed English provisions and burned warehouses while they attempted to interrupt river traffic to Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford. During the Siege and Battle of Saybrook Fort, the Pequot and English assessed each other's military capabilities, and adjusted counter-tactics. Each side’s tactical modifications show a high degree of sophistication, planning, and ingenuity. Lessons learned during the siege of Saybrook escalated the Pequot War in Connecticut Colony, and indirectly resulted in the attack and destruction of Mistick Fort (May 1637).
The Saybrook Colony was established in late 1635 at the mouth of the Connecticut River, in what is today Old Saybrook and environs. John Winthrop, the Younger, son of the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was designated Governor by the group that claimed possession of the land via a deed of conveyance from Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick. Winthrop was aided by Colonel George Fenwick and Captain Lion Gardiner. As the principals of the group who had planned to settle the colony were supporters of Oliver Cromwell and remained in England during the English Civil War, the colony struggled. In 1644, Fenwick agreed to merge the colony with the more vibrant Connecticut Colony a few miles up river, which purchased the land and fort from him.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Old Saybrook CT
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Old Saybrook CT.
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