How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Riverside Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Riverside CT is an important initial 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 completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing 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 hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Riverside CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Riverside CT dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Riverside CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Riverside CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach 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 ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Riverside CT employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Riverside CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive 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 create professional relationships in the Riverside CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Riverside CT dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Riverside CT dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Riverside CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Riverside CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Riverside CT?
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.
Well-known residents of Riverside include Lara Spencer, television journalist, and Lois Darling, an author, illustrator and researcher. Gold Medal ice skater Dorothy Hamill and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson also grew up in Riverside. Riverside is also home to Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford. New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis also lives in Riverside with his three sons and wife. Former NFL player Tiki Barber also lives in Riverside along with his two daughters and two sons.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Riverside CT
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Riverside CT.
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