How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Windham Maine
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Windham ME is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Windham ME 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 first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Windham ME dental practices are usually 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 nearly 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might 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 portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Windham ME home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Windham ME, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program 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. Windham ME employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Windham ME dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get 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 create professional relationships in the Windham ME dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Windham ME dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Windham ME dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private 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, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Windham ME area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Windham ME in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Windham ME?
Windham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 17,001 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of South Windham and North Windham. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The township was granted in 1734 by the Massachusetts General Court to Abraham Howard, Joseph Blaney and 58 others from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1737, New Marblehead Plantation was settled by Captain Thomas Chute. By order of the Massachusetts General Court, a fort was built in spring of 1744 on a hill in the southern part of town near the early center of settlement to offer protection during King George's War. A 50-foot square blockhouse constructed of 12-inch thick hewn hemlock had an overhanging second story with firing ports and two swivel guns in watch posts on diagonal corners. The blockhouse was surrounded by a stockade wall of 12-inch diameter log posts 16 feet long. The single gate through the stockade wall was covered by a 4.2-inch (11 cm) bore 9-pounder cannon within the blockhouse.
The town's inhabitants took shelter in the stockade between 1745 and 1751. The last Indian attack on the town occurred on May 14, 1756. New Marblehead Plantation was incorporated on June 12, 1762 as Windham, named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England. Windham Minutemen marched to Portland in response to the Burning of Falmouth on 18 October 1775 and sixteen men were drafted from the town for the Penobscot Expedition. Thirteen Windham men are reported as being members of the Continental Army with George Washington's American Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge. Windham's 9-pounder cannon and one swivel gun from the stockade blockhouse were loaned to Portland in 1775. Portland had refused to surrender these guns to Captain Henry Mowat as he demanded before he burned the town; and they were placed aboard the privateer Reprieve in 1776.
Most of the early inhabitants were farmers, who found the soil loamy and easily worked. Early subdivision of land was in strips perpendicular to the Presumpscot River and Pleasant River. Each landowner cleared the river floodplain for cropland and had river access for transportation to the coast until River Road and Old Gray Road (United States Route 202) were built linking connected farm buildings on high ground adjacent to the floodplain. Windham provided numerous sites for water power, and as early as 1738 a mill was erected at Mallison Falls. Edmund Fowler and Lester Laflin began manufacturing gunpowder at Gambo Falls (near Newhall) in 1817.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Windham ME
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial 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 numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Windham ME.
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