How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Somersworth New Hampshire
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Somersworth NH is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as the program’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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Somersworth NH dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every 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 can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Somersworth NH dental practices are often 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for getting your training. Just remember 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 provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Somersworth NH home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Somersworth NH, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Somersworth NH 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, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Somersworth NH dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing 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 Somersworth NH dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Somersworth NH dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Somersworth NH area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Somersworth NH at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Somersworth NH?
Somersworth, New Hampshire
Somersworth is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,766 at the 2010 census. Somersworth has the smallest area and third-lowest population of New Hampshire's 13 cities.
Somersworth, originally called "Sligo" after Sligo in Ireland, was settled before 1700 as a part of Dover. It was organized in 1729 as the parish of "Summersworth", meaning "summer town", because during that season the ministers would preach here. It was set off and incorporated in 1754 by colonial governor Benning Wentworth, and until 1849 included Rollinsford. A clerical error at incorporation contracted the name to "Somersworth". It would be incorporated as a city in 1893, before which it was also known as "Great Falls".
Situated where the Salmon Falls River drops 100 feet (30 m) over a mile, Somersworth early became a mill town, beginning with gristmills and sawmills. In 1822, the brothers Isaac and Jacob Wendell of Boston purchased for $5,000 a gristmill with its water rights at the Great Falls. They established the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, a textile business that expanded to include three mills for spinning thread and weaving cotton and woolen fabrics, specializing in "drillings, shirtings and sheetings." Throughout the 19th century, other expansive brick mill buildings, including a bleachery and dye works, were erected beside the river. The bleachery became the longest running textile operation in Somersworth. The building housed the operations that took the buff-colored fabric produced in the seven mills and transformed it into a sparkling white material that could be dyed or printed according to the buyer's wishes. The gate house at the dam directed water as needed, regulating the flow either into the river or a company canal, which itself had gates sending it under the mill. Water power turned the wheels and belts that operated mill machinery. The railroad arrived in the early 1840s, before which goods were carted to Dover.
At first millworkers came from surrounding farms, including those in Berwick, Maine, directly across the bridge. Many were women. But as the need for labor grew, immigrants arrived from Ireland, and later Quebec. Brick tenement row houses were rented by the company to employee families, many of whose members worked in the mills beside their parents before passage of child labor laws. For relaxation, workers found entertainment at the Opera House or at Central Park, an amusement park beside Willand Pond. In the early 1870s, the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad began excursions to the White Mountains. The Electric Street Railway came in 1890, allowing trolley rides to York Beach, Maine.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist College near Somersworth NH
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally 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 elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Somersworth NH.
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