How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Wakefield Rhode Island
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Wakefield RI is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, for instance the school’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover 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 review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Wakefield RI dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wakefield RI dental practices are normally required to hold 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wakefield RI home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wakefield RI, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Wakefield RI employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Wakefield RI dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wakefield RI dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Wakefield RI dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wakefield RI area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Wakefield RI at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need 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 Wakefield RI?
Wakefield-Peacedale, Rhode Island
Wakefield-Peacedale is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of South Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States that includes the villages of Peace Dale and Wakefield. The population was 8,468 at the 2000 census.
At the 2000 census, there were 8,468 people, 3,221 households and 2,174 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 671.4/km² (1,739.4/mi²). There were 3,385 housing units at an average density of 268.4/km² (695.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.34% White, 2.01% African American, 3.08% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.
There were 3,221 households of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.14.
28.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.4 males.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Wakefield RI
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important 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 a number of options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wakefield RI.
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