How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Winterport Maine
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Winterport ME is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’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 two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Winterport ME practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Winterport ME dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Winterport ME home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Winterport ME, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Winterport ME employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Winterport ME dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method 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 build professional relationships in the Winterport ME dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Winterport ME dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Winterport ME dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Winterport ME area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Winterport ME in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Winterport ME?
First settled in 1766 as part of Frankfort, it was set off and incorporated on March 12, 1860. It was named Winterport because of its fine harbor on the Penobscot River estuary, which generally remained ice free, and so became a busy local terminus for trade and shipping during winter months. When the upper Penobscot River froze, commodities like flour were hauled in large quantities from here to Bangor.
In 1841, Theophilus Cushing opened a large steam mill which manufactured 11,000,000 feet of lumber annually. It also made sugar box shooks, lath, clapboard, and soap and candle boxes. The town had two cooperage factories. Other industries produced harnesses, cheese and butter, and men's vests. Until the Panic of 1857, Winterport was a shipbuilding center. But the principal business for most of the town was agriculture.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.05 square miles (95.96 km2), of which, 35.52 square miles (92.00 km2) of it is land and 1.53 square miles (3.96 km2) is water. Drained by the Marsh River, Winterport is bounded by the Penobscot River.
The town is crossed by U.S. Route 1A, as well as Maine State Route 69 and Maine State Route 139. It borders the towns of Frankfort to the south, Monroe to the west, and Hampden and Newburgh to the north. Bucksport lies across the Penobscot River to the east which prior to the opening of the Waldo-Hancock Bridge in 1931 was reached from Winterport by way of the Winterport Ferry Co.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Winterport ME
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is essential 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 several options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Winterport ME.
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