How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Riverside Rhode Island
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Riverside RI is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, including the college’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 accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job 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 in support of the Riverside RI dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once 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 Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Riverside RI dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for obtaining your education. 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 desktop computer in the comfort of your Riverside RI home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Riverside RI, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant 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 provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Riverside RI employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Riverside RI dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Riverside RI dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Riverside RI dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Riverside RI dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Riverside RI area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Riverside RI at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Riverside RI?
Riverside, Rhode Island
Riverside is a suburban neighborhood of Providence. Adjoining Riverside are the town of Barrington in Bristol County to the south, Narragansett Bay to the west, the rest of East Providence to the north, and the Runnins River and Seekonk, Massachusetts to the east.
Riverside most notably became a tourist attraction in the late 19th and early 20th century due to the presence of Crescent Park Amusement Park, known as the “Coney Island of the East”. The 50 acre park operated from 1886 until 1979, and was famous for its Rhode Island Shore Dinners as well as the Alhambra Ballroom, where famous Big Bands played, and the bustling midway which included roller coasters, kiddie land, rides and games. Although the park in now gone, the famous 1895 Crescent Park Looff Carousel has been preserved and continues in operation every summer. The Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works.
Many hotels, guest houses and shore dinner halls operated in Riverside in the late 19th century to accommodate the influx of summer visitors escaping the big city. Also available were several tent sites like Camp White and Camp Fuller. The Vue de l'Eau Hotel was built around 1860. The four-story Riverside Hotel boasted its own wharf and a huge ballroom overlooking the bay. After a few years, it was dismantled and shipped by barge to Nantucket. Pomham House opened in 1867 with its own wharf. The popular Silver Spring Hotel was opened two years later by developer, Hiram Maxfield. In addition to the hotel, it included a shore dinner hall and summer cottages.
The Lyric Theater opened on Maple Avenue around 1920 and featured silent movies until 1928 when the theater became the second in the state to have talking pictures. Later named the Gilbert Stuart, it eventually closed as a theater. The Riverside Girl Scout House on Willett Avenue, built around 1870, is the oldest school still standing in East Providence. It was known as District 6 Schoolhouse.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Riverside RI
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Riverside RI.
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