How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Winthrop Maine
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Winthrop ME is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the program’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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Winthrop ME 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 sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Winthrop ME dental practices are often 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Winthrop ME home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually 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 style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Winthrop ME, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Winthrop ME employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Winthrop ME dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Winthrop ME dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Winthrop ME dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Winthrop ME area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Winthrop ME at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Winthrop ME?
Winthrop is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,092 at the 2010 census. Winthrop's population, however, approximately doubles during the summer months as part-year residents return to seasonal camps located on the shores of Winthrop's Lakes and Ponds. A recreational area located among lakes, the town includes the villages of Winthrop and East Winthrop, and is the center of the Winthrop Lakes Region. Winthrop is included in the Augusta, Maine Micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
Winthrop was part of the Kennebec Purchase awarded by the Plymouth Council for New England. First called Pondtown for its lakes and ponds, it was settled by Timothy Foster in 1765. On April 26, 1771, Pondtown Plantation was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Winthrop, named for the first colonial governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop.Readfield was set off and incorporated in 1791. The surface of the town is uneven, but with good land that yielded hay, grain and apples. Winthrop became noted for its orchards and cattle.
At the outlet of Maranacook Lake into Annabessacook Lake, John Chandler built a sawmill in 1768, and then added a gristmill. Other industries followed, including a fulling mill, tannery and blacksmith shop. The Winthrop Woolen & Cotton Manufactory was incorporated in 1809, and in 1814 went into operation. By 1886, the town had a sawmill which manufactured about 200,000 feet of lumber every year, two oil cloth factories, a sash and blind factory, and a foundry and machine shop. The Maine Central Railroad opened to the village, carrying freight and tourists. Winthrop and its lakes developed into a summer resort, which it remains today.
Winthrop has historically referred to its regions by directional names. Other than Winthrop Village and East Winthrop, their boundaries are not firmly established and tend to vary from person to person. Winthrop has several villages and areas that can be classified as neighborhoods. Some of them are:
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Winthrop ME
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Winthrop ME.
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