How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Strafford New Hampshire
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Strafford NH is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including the school’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Strafford NH dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Strafford NH dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Strafford NH home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Strafford NH, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Strafford NH employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Strafford NH dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Strafford NH dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Strafford NH dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Strafford NH dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Strafford NH area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Strafford NH in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, 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 Strafford NH?
Strafford County, New Hampshire
Strafford County is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 123,143. Its county seat is Dover. Strafford County was one of the five original counties identified for New Hampshire in 1769. It was named after William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford in the mistaken belief that he was the ancestor of governor John Wentworth – although they were distantly related, William had no descendants. The county was organized at Dover in 1771. In 1840, the size of the original county was reduced with the creation of Belknap County. Strafford County constitutes a portion of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
Strafford County is in southeastern New Hampshire, separated from York County in the state of Maine by the Salmon Falls River. The southern part of the Salmon Falls, from Rollinsford to Dover, is a tidal river that flows into the Piscataqua River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 384 square miles (990 km2), of which 369 square miles (960 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.9%) is water. It is the smallest county in New Hampshire by area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 112,233 people, 42,581 households, and 27,762 families residing in the county. The population density was 304 people per square mile (118/km²). There were 45,539 housing units at an average density of 124 per square mile (48/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.29% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.8% were of English, 14.9% Irish, 14.0% French, 10.5% French Canadian, 7.6% American, 6.3% Italian and 6.2% German ancestry. 93.7% spoke English and 3.2% French as their first language.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Strafford NH
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Strafford NH.
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