How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Woodbridge Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Woodbridge CT is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing 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 contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Woodbridge CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Woodbridge CT dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Woodbridge CT home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Woodbridge CT, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Woodbridge CT employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides enough 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, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Woodbridge CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching 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 Woodbridge CT dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Woodbridge CT dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Woodbridge CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Woodbridge CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Woodbridge CT?
Woodbridge is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,990 at the 2010 census. It is one of the wealthiest towns in Connecticut, ranking 8th in the state per the 2010 US Census in terms of per-capita income, and is home to many of the faculty of Yale University. The town center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Woodbridge Green Historic District.
Woodbridge was originally called "Amity", having been carved out of land originally belonging to New Haven and Milford as an independent parish in 1739. In 1742, the Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge was ordained in Amity, and it is after him that the modern town was named. Woodbridge was incorporated in 1784.
In 1661, the town was the location of one of the hideouts of the "Regicides" — three of the judges who signed the death warrant for King Charles I of England. The ruins of their hideout can be found on the nearby West Rock ridge, which runs along the town's eastern border.
Thomas Darling (1720–1789), a tutor at Yale College and later an entrepreneur in New Haven, moved to town in 1774. His home is now the Darling House Museum, operated by the Amity & Woodbridge Historical Association. The original farms of Woodbridge were located in the area of the West River Valley known as "The Flats".
Select the Best Dental Hygienist School near Woodbridge CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course 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 several alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Woodbridge CT.
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