How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Unionville Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Unionville CT is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Unionville CT practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. 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 responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Unionville CT dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Unionville CT area community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Unionville CT area community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a great alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Unionville CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Connecticut schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Unionville CT area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Unionville CT frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Connecticut college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Unionville CT dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Unionville CT college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Unionville CT dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene programs require help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Unionville CT dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Connecticut schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Unionville CT.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Unionville CT home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What drove you to select Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist College near Unionville CT
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Unionville CT.
A Bit About Unionville Connecticut
Farmington is an affluent town in Hartford County in the Farmington Valley area of central Connecticut in the United States. The population was 25,340 at the 2010 census. It sits 10 miles west of Hartford at the hub of major I-84 interchanges, 20 miles south of Bradley International Airport and 2-hours by car from NYC and Boston. It is home to the world headquarters of several large corporations including Carrier Corporation, Otis Elevator Company, and Carvel.
Farmington was originally inhabited by the Tunxis Indian tribe. In 1640, a community of English immigrants was established by residents of Hartford, making Farmington the oldest inland settlement west of the Connecticut River and the twelfth oldest community in the state. Settlers found the area ideal because of its rich soil, location along the floodplain of the Farmington River, and valley geography.
The town and river were given their present names in 1645, which is considered the incorporation year of the town. The town's boundaries were later enlarged several times, making it the largest in the Connecticut Colony. The town was named "Farmington" on account of its location within a farming district.
Farmington has been called the "mother of towns" because its vast area was divided to produce nine other central Connecticut communities. The borough of Unionville, in Farmington's northwest corner, was once home to many factories harnessing the water power of the Farmington River.
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