How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Windham New Hampshire
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Windham NH is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance 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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Windham NH 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 encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Windham NH dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Windham NH home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Windham NH, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Windham NH employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Windham NH dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive 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 establish professional relationships in the Windham NH dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Windham NH dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Windham NH dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Windham NH area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Windham NH in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Windham NH?
Windham, New Hampshire
The area was initially home to the Pawtucket Native Americans. Scottish immigrants began to settle in the area in 1719. The region was known as “Nutfield” and included what are now the neighboring towns of Derry and Londonderry. By 1721 some of the original settlers petitioned to form a separate independent community. Governor Benning Wentworth granted this request in 1742. One published theory holds that the community's name refers to Windham, Ireland, harkening back to the petitioners' homeland. However, it has been alternatively postulated that the town was named after Sir Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, a member of Parliament from 1734 to 1750, Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1761 to 1763, and a good friend of Governor Wentworth. The town of Windham was originally a parish of Londonderry. Windham was the second town designated by Governor Benning Wentworth following the establishment of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. Windham was the birthplace of Samuel Dinsmoor, Governor of New Hampshire from 1831 to 1834. The first census ever taken in Windham totaled at 663 residents in the year 1790.
Historic landmarks in Windham include the Searles School, Searles Castle, the town center, and the Armstrong Memorial Building. Searles Castle is one of Windham’s most prominent landmarks. Edward F. Searles, an interior decorator and antique collector, built the castle. The architect, Henry Vaughn, modeled the castle’s architecture after the style of the Stanton Harcourt Manor in Oxfordshire, England. The building was completed in 1915 at a cost of over $1,250,000. The castle contains over 20 rooms and is available to the public to be rented out for functions and events. In July 1909, Mr. Searles erected a commemorative plaque honoring governor Samuel Dinsmoor "a few rods" from his birthplace on Jenny's Hill, which stands today as a designated historic landmark.
Windham is situated in Rockingham County in southeastern New Hampshire, approximately 3 miles (5 km) north of the Massachusetts border. It is accessible from Exit 3 of Interstate 93. Windham is considered a bedroom community because of its growing population (over 10,000), only about 160 commercial land parcels, and lack of public transportation. The nearest airport to Windham is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, about 20 miles (32 km) to the north. Boston, Massachusetts, is 37 miles (60 km) to the south along Interstate 93. The landscape of Windham consists of suburban subdivisions, rural open spaces and large areas of undeveloped land.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.9 square miles (72 km2), of which 26.8 sq mi (69 km2) is land and 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2) is water, comprising 3.80% of the town. The highest point is Jenny's Hill, at 505 feet (154 m) above sea level.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near Windham NH
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered 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 junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Windham NH.
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