How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Middletown Rhode Island
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Middletown RI is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including 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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive 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 colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Middletown RI practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may 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 about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Middletown RI dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Middletown RI home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Middletown RI, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Middletown RI employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Middletown RI dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive 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 Middletown RI dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools 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 Middletown RI dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Middletown RI dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Middletown RI area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Middletown RI in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Middletown RI?
Middletown, Rhode Island
Middletown is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 16,150 at the 2010 census. It lies to the south of Portsmouth and to the north of Newport on Aquidneck Island, hence the name "Middletown".
Various issues including unjust taxation and a growing population caused the freeholders living in the northern section of Newport to petition the general assembly for independence. As a result of the petition, the land that Middletown occupies was set apart in 1731. The town was incorporated in 1743.
During the 1980s, large sections of East Main Road and West Main Road running through Middletown began to be commercialized, and by the late 1990s, the area had become Aquidneck Island's central business district.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.7 km²), of which 13.0 square miles (33.6 km²) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²; 13.18%) is water. Middletown was known as the "farming community" of Aquidneck Island. Today most of the developed land is located towards the western part of the town, while what is left of its rural heritage is primarily towards the east. Middletown also has several beaches.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Middletown RI
Enrolling in 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 a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect 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 choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Middletown RI.
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