How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Tolland Connecticut
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Tolland CT is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to 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 available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Tolland CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Tolland CT dental practices are often 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Tolland CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary 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 college is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Tolland CT, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Tolland CT employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Tolland CT dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, practical 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 develop professional relationships in the Tolland CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Tolland CT dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Tolland CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Tolland CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers 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 Tolland CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical 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 issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Tolland CT?
Tolland was named in May, 1715, and incorporated in May, 1722 from Windsor. The town was over 20 miles away from Tolland and was incorporated to grow the population out in the hill areas. According to some, the town derives its name from being a toll station on the old road between Boston and New York. Alternatively, its name could have been taken after Tolland in Somerset, England. Today Interstate 84, the main highway connecting New York City, Hartford, Connecticut and Boston, bisects Tolland, but the town retains a charming village feel. Tolland Green is the informal center of the community, and a national historic district. The Green's features include an old-fashioned penny candy and antiques store known to locals as the 'Red and White'; the town's original 19th-century town hall, now an arts center; the 'Old Tolland Jail' museum; the 'Tolland Inn' bed and breakfast; and the Hicks-Stearns Museum, a restored Victorian house. The architectural styles on display, including the white steeples of several churches, are reminiscent of a picture-postcard New England scene. The town is also home to the supposedly haunted 'Benton Homestead'.
Many of the town's adults work in Hartford, located about 25 minutes away, often at one of the city's many insurance companies, or for the neighbouring University of Connecticut in Storrs to the south. A family-oriented town, the landscape of Tolland is primarily composed of large houses, and mansions on plots of around two acres. Undeveloped, forested land covers the area between the town's many residential developments. Containing two state forests and several municipal parks, the town retains a relatively rural character.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,146 people, 4,586 households, and 3,788 families residing in the town. The population density was 331.0 people per square mile (127.8/km²). There were 4,665 housing units at an average density of 117.5 per square mile (45.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.36% White, 0.57% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were .75% of the population.
There were 4,586 households out of which 42.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.4% were married couples living together, 1.9% had a female householder, and 17.4% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.12.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Tolland CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Tolland CT.
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