How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Hamden Connecticut
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Hamden CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Hamden CT 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 interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every 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 duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hamden CT dental offices are generally 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 almost 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Hamden CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hamden CT, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Although these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hamden CT employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Hamden CT dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means 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 professional relationships in the Hamden CT dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hamden CT dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Hamden CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Hamden CT area.
Are the Classes Convenient? 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 especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Hamden CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hamden CT?
Hamden is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The town's nickname is "The Land of the Sleeping Giant." The population was 60,960 at the 2010 census. Hamden is a suburb of the city of New Haven.
The town of Hamden ranked #53 in the CNN Money list of "America's best small cities" in 2012. In 2008, Fortune Magazine and CNN Money picked Hamden as #33 on their "Best Place to Live and Launch" list, citing Hamden's great blend of urban and suburban lifestyles. The article also pointed out Hamden's exceptional education system as well as its "New England Charm".
Originally settled by Puritans as part of the town of New Haven, Hamden was purchased by William Christopher Reilly and the Reverend John Davenport in 1638 from the local Quinnipiack Native American tribe. It remained a part of New Haven until 1786 when 1,400 local residents incorporated the area as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden.
Largely developed as a nodal collection of village-like settlements (which remain distinct today), including Mount Carmel (home to Quinnipiac University), Whitneyville, Spring Glen, West Woods, and Highwood, Hamden has a long-standing industrial history. In 1798, four years after Eli Whitney began manufacturing the cotton gin in New Haven, he made arms for the U.S. government at a mill site in Hamden, where a waterfall provided a good source of power. At that site, Whitney introduced the modern era of mass production with the concept of interchangeable parts.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist College near Hamden CT
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hamden CT.
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