Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Portland CT 06480

How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Portland Connecticut

Portland CT dental hygienist with patientSelecting the right dental hygienist college near Portland 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 picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, 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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Portland CT pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Portland CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients regarding oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing 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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Portland CT dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Dental Hygienist Online Schools

attending dental hygienist school online in Portland CTEnrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Portland CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.

Topics to Cover With Dental  Hygienist Schools

teeth cleaned by Portland CT dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Portland CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Portland CT employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Portland CT dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Portland CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Portland CT dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Portland CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Portland CT area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Portland CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Portland CT?

Portland, Connecticut

Portland is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,732 at the 2000 census. The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP). It is situated across the Connecticut River from Middletown. Brownstone quarried in Portland was used in the construction of Hartford's Old State House in 1796. The vast majority of the brownstone buildings in Connecticut (see College Row at Wesleyan University and the Long Walk at Trinity College) as well as the famous brownstones in New York City were built with brownstone from Portland's quarries.

The Wangunk tribe lived in the area prior to European settlement, and lived in Portland continuously throughout the settler period. Wangunk descendants still live in the area today. Their name referred to the bend in the Connecticut River which curves around half of the town's perimeter.[1]

The first European settlers came to Portland in the 1690s. They were attracted by brownstone, which was used both for construction and for gravestones. Proximity to the river meant that the stone could be transported far and wide, and the Portland brownstone quarries supplied to New York, Boston and even San Francisco, Canada and England. By the 1850s, more than 1,500 people were employed in the quarry industry. More than 25 ships transported the stone. By the 1850s, shipbuilding became more important as an industry, and the economic center of town shifted toward the Gildersleeve area. Immigrants from Ireland, then Sweden, then (to a lesser extent) Italy came to town to work the quarries.[1]

Portland's oldest church is the First Congregational Church. In 1710 a meeting was held for the building of a meetinghouse for preaching. The Connecticut General Assembly approved "parish privileges" in 1714. After a vociferous controversy, a location for the new "Third Ecclesiastical Society of Middletown" meetinghouse was decided upon at "Hall Hill". On October 25, 1721, Rev. Daniel Newell, the first pastor, was ordained. The Bristol, Connecticut native and Yale College graduate died in 1731. In 1748 a new meetinghouse was built, and in 1843 the name of the society was changed to the "First Ecclesiastical Society of Portland."[3]

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Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Portland CT

Choosing the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend 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 best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Portland CT.

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