How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Somers Connecticut
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Somers CT is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the college’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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Somers CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After 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
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Somers 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 trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Somers CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Somers CT, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Somers CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Somers CT dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 Somers CT dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Somers 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 enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Somers CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Somers CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Somers CT?
Somers /ˈsʌmərz/ is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut. The population was 11,444 at the 2010 census. The town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). In 2007, Money Magazine named Somers, Connecticut 53rd on its list of 100 Best Places to Live, based on "economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."
Bordering Massachusetts, Somers is considered part of the City of Springfield, Massachusetts NECTA. Somers is only 9 miles from the City of Springfield, Massachusetts, and considered more oriented toward it than the City of Hartford, Connecticut, which lies 16 miles to the south.
Somers was originally part of the Agawam Plantation in the 17th century. Agawam Plantation became Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1641 and in 1682, the Enfield Parish broke off from the Springfield settlement. In 1706, the first settler came to Somers in what was then East Enfield. In the year 1734, Somers became a town and was named after John Somers, 1st Baron Somers. In the year 1749, Somers joined the Connecticut Colony. The Four Town Fair which is usually held after the third weekend in September is one of the oldest fairs in the Country.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.5 square miles (74 km2), of which 28.3 square miles (73 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.49%) is water. The town center CDP has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), all land.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Somers CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is essential 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 many alternatives available to obtain 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 community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Somers CT.
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