How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near West Lebanon New Hampshire
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near West Lebanon NH is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role 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 in support of the West Lebanon NH practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 as well as any state licensing exams. After 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 additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in West Lebanon NH dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your West Lebanon NH home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in West Lebanon NH, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. West Lebanon NH employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides sufficient 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, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local West Lebanon NH dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get 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 establish professional relationships in the West Lebanon NH dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Lebanon NH dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the West Lebanon NH dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration 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 along with 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the West Lebanon NH area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near West Lebanon NH in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical 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 issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near West Lebanon NH?
West Lebanon, New Hampshire
West Lebanon is an unincorporated community (pop. approx 3,200) within the city of Lebanon, New Hampshire, on the Connecticut River. The area contains a major shopping plaza strip along New Hampshire Route 12A, serving the Upper Valley communities along Interstates 89 and 91. West Lebanon also hosts the Lebanon Municipal Airport, a number of small software and tech businesses, and a regional daily newspaper, the Valley News. The village serves as a bedroom community for nearby Dartmouth College.
West Lebanon was the site of Lebanon's first settlement in 1761. Later the village became a regionally important rail hub, although at that time it was better known to rail travelers as Westboro. By the 1950s, however, the rail industry had shrunk significantly. The village of White River Junction, Vermont, across the Connecticut River, took most of the remaining services, and the rail service through West Lebanon was terminated.
Today commerce has replaced transportation as the basis of the economy, and West Lebanon serves as the commercial hub for a United States micropolitan area of over 170,000 people.Seminary Hill School is located in the area.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near West Lebanon NH
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in West Lebanon NH.
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