How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Massapequa New York
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Massapequa NY is an important first 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 much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Massapequa NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Massapequa NY dental practices are normally 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 finish 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Massapequa NY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Massapequa NY, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Even though these are 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. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Massapequa NY employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Massapequa NY dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain 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 create professional relationships in the Massapequa NY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Massapequa NY dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Massapequa NY dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Massapequa NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Massapequa NY 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Massapequa NY?
Massapequa, New York
Massapequa (/mæsəˈpiːkwə/, mass-ə-PEEK-wə) is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the southern part of the Town of Oyster Bay in southeastern Nassau County, New York, on Long Island, east of New York City. It is adjacent to Amityville in Suffolk County. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a total population of 21,685. It is serviced by the Massapequa Station on the Long Island Rail Road.
A 19th-century writer identified Massapequa as one of the "13 tribes of Long Island," but additional research has shown that they were a band of Lenape, the Algonquian-speaking people who occupied the western part of the island at the time of European encounter. The bands were identified by names of the geographic areas they occupied.
The Native Americans to the east spoke a different Algonquian language and were related to the Pequot people of Connecticut and southern New England, another in the large Algonquian languages family of tribes in coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean. Major bands of Pequot in eastern Long Island were the Montaukett and Shinnecock. Today the Shinnecock Indian Nation has gained federal recognition and has a reservation on the South Shore of Long Island.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it is water. The total area is 9.20% water.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Massapequa NY
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Massapequa NY.
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