How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Stamford Connecticut
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Stamford CT is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing 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 factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Stamford CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing 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
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Stamford CT dental practices are normally required to hold 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 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Stamford CT home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Stamford CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. 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 Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Stamford CT employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Stamford CT dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, practical 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 Stamford CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at 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 Stamford CT dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Stamford CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Stamford CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Stamford CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Stamford CT?
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643. As of July 1, 2014, according to the Census Bureau, the population of Stamford had risen to 128,278, making it the third-largest city in the state (behind Bridgeport and New Haven) and the seventh-largest city in New England. Approximately 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Manhattan, Stamford is in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro area which is a part of the Greater New York metropolitan area.
Stamford is home to four Fortune 500 Companies, nine Fortune 1000 Companies, and 13 Courant 100 Companies, as well as numerous divisions of large corporations. This gives Stamford the largest financial district in New York Metro outside New York City itself and one of the largest concentrations of corporations in the nation.
Stamford was known as Rippowam by the Native American inhabitants to the region, and the very first European settlers to the area also referred to it as such. The present name is after the town of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. The deed to Stamford was signed on July 1, 1640 between Captain Turner of the New Haven Colony and Chief Ponus. By the 18th century, one of the primary industries of the town was merchandising by water, which was possible due to Stamford's proximity to New York.
In 1692, Stamford was home to a less famous witch trial than the well-known Salem witch trials, which also occurred in 1692. The accusations were less fanatical and smaller-scale but also grew to prominence through gossip and hysterics.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Stamford CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Stamford CT.
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