How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Spofford New Hampshire
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Spofford NH is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the program’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 complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting 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 Spofford NH practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Spofford NH dental practices are usually required to hold 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 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Spofford NH home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Spofford NH, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make 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 a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Spofford NH employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Spofford NH dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Spofford NH dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Spofford NH dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Spofford NH area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Spofford NH in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Spofford NH?
Spofford, New Hampshire
Spofford is an unincorporated community in the northeastern part of the town of Chesterfield in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. It is situated at the outlet of Spofford Lake and is located along New Hampshire Route 9A. While no population figures are available for Spofford, it is slightly larger than the town-center village of Chesterfield. Children who live in Spofford go to Chesterfield School. Spofford has a different ZIP code (03462) from the rest of Chesterfield.
Home to Spofford Lake, there are two different beaches to visit. On Route 9A there is Ware's Grove Beach where out-of-town visitors can pay $6 for a day pass or $125 for a season pass. The other is North Shore Beach on North Shore Road, which is open to town residents only.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist College near Spofford NH
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your training 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 programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing 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 Spofford NH.
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