How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Woodstock Valley Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Woodstock Valley CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, 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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Woodstock Valley CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensing exams. 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 Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Woodstock Valley CT dental offices are usually 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Woodstock Valley CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Woodstock Valley CT, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Woodstock Valley CT employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Woodstock Valley CT dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Woodstock Valley CT dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Woodstock Valley CT dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Woodstock Valley CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Woodstock Valley CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Woodstock Valley CT at nights 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Woodstock Valley CT?
In the mid-17th century, John Eliot, a Puritan missionary to the American Indians, established "praying towns" where Native Americans took up Christianity and were expected to renounce their religious ceremonies, traditional dress, and customs. One Praying town, called Wabaquasset (Senexet, Wabiquisset), six miles west of the Quinebaug River in present-day Woodstock, was the largest of the three northeastern Connecticut praying towns.
In 1675, when King Philip's War broke out, some of the town's Indians, (especially in the southern part of the town) sided with the Mohegans and the English while others sided with the Indians led by Philip, rallying to arms on what is now Curtis Island in present Holland, Massachusetts and Brimfield, Massachusetts. During the war, the Praying town became deserted, and the English with their Indian allies marched through Woodstock to present day Thompson in the summer of 1676 burning any crops or stored corn they could find.
In 1682, Massachusetts bought a tract of land, which included Woodstock, from the Mohegans. A group of 13 men from Roxbury, Massachusetts (home of the Pastorate of Woodstock's earlier visitor, John Eliot), settled the town in 1686 and named it New Roxbury. Judge Samuel Sewall suggested the town change its name to Woodstock in 1690, citing its proximity to Oxford, Massachusetts, and in 1749 the town became part of Connecticut. The present name is after Woodstock, in England.
A farming town in the 18th century, Woodstock began attracting industry after the War of 1812. "By 1820, there were 2 distilleries, 2 wheel wrights, an oil mill, fulling mill, carding machines, grist mills, saw mills, a goldsmith, and twine and cotton batting operations. Woodstock Valley was known for its shoe factories," according to the history page at the Woodstock town government Web site.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Woodstock Valley CT
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to 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 best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Woodstock Valley CT.
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