How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near South Kent Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near South Kent CT is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the South Kent CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report 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
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in South Kent 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 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your South Kent CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in South Kent CT, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. South Kent CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local South Kent CT dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the South Kent CT dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the South Kent CT dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based 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 public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the South Kent CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm 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 South Kent CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near South Kent CT?
South Kent, Connecticut
South Kent is a village located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States, alongside the border with New York, and within and part of Kent, Connecticut. South Kent has its own Post Office whose ZIP code is 06785. South Kent is also home to South Kent School, a private prep school.
South Kent is located in Litchfield County. Its location is 41°42′01″N 73°26′49″W / 41.70028°N 73.44694°W / 41.70028; -73.44694. South Kent's terrain is mostly hilly, with small valleys and upland plateaus. There are several bodies of water in South Kent, including Hatch Pond, Mill Pond, Mud Pond, and South Spectacle Lake.
The median income for a household in the town was $60,208, and the median income for a family was $56,964. Males had a median income of $58,875 versus $34,135 for females. The per capita income for the town was $59,245.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near South Kent CT
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in South Kent CT.
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