How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Wilton Connecticut
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Wilton CT is an important initial 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 far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Wilton CT practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wilton CT dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. 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 Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Wilton CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wilton CT, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Wilton CT employers typically 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 schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Wilton CT dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain 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 develop professional relationships in the Wilton CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wilton CT dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Wilton CT dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wilton CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Wilton CT at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wilton CT?
Officially recognized as a parish in 1726, Wilton is today, like many other Fairfield County towns, an expensive residential community with open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), historic architecture and extensive town services. Residents commonly commute to New York City, Stamford, and Norwalk, although there are a number of office buildings in town.
Wilton is home to many successful start-up companies, national strategy and professional services and consulting firms, and global corporations such as ASML, Deloitte & Touche, Sun Products, Breitling USA, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, Clear Conscience Pet and the Blue Buffalo Company. Many Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered within a 30-minute train or car commute. AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
The original 40 families of the parish began their own Congregational church and were allowed by Norwalk to hire a minister (Robert Sturgeon, who also became the town's first schoolmaster), open schools and build roads. During the Revolutionary War in 1777, the British used Wilton as an escape route after their successful raid on Danbury. Several homes were burned, but the town remained intact. In 1802, Wilton was granted a Town Charter by the Connecticut General Assembly and became a political entity independent from Norwalk.
With a strong anti-slavery sentiment by its residents, Wilton Bompey served as a stop on the Underground Railroad primarily at the house of William Wakeman "an earnest abolitionist and undergrounder for many years."
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Wilton CT
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wilton CT.
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