How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Stratton Maine
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Stratton ME is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Stratton ME practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Stratton ME dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Maine dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Stratton ME area community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Stratton ME area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, 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 Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Stratton ME home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice 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 discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Maine schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Stratton ME area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Stratton ME often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Maine schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Maine school you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Stratton ME 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 an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Stratton ME college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Stratton ME 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Stratton ME dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Maine programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school 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 Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Stratton ME.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Stratton ME home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have 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 due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Hygiene candidates is "What made you decide on Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Hygienist and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Stratton ME
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to 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 choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Stratton ME.
A Bit About Stratton Maine
General Tom Thumb
Charles Sherwood Stratton (January 4, 1838 – July 15, 1883), better known by his stage name "General Tom Thumb", was a dwarf who achieved great fame as a performer under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum.
Stratton was the son of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, carpenter named Sherwood Edward Stratton, son of Seth Sherwood Stratton and Amy Sharpe. Sherwood married his first cousin Cynthia Thompson, daughter of Joseph Thompson and Mary Ann Sharpe. Charles Stratton's maternal and paternal grandmothers, Amy and Mary Ann Sharpe, were stated to be small twin girls born on July 11, 1781/83 in Oxford, New Haven, Connecticut.
Born in Bridgeport to parents who were of medium height, Charles was a relatively large baby, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces (4.3 kg) at birth. He developed and grew normally for the first six months of his life, at which point he was 25 inches (64 cm) tall and weighed 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Then he suddenly stopped growing. His parents became concerned when, after his first birthday, they noticed he had not grown at all in the previous six months. They showed him to their doctor, who said there was little chance Charles would ever reach normal height.
By late 1842 (4 years old), Stratton grew only one inch from when he was six months old. Apart from this, he was a totally normal, healthy child, with several siblings who were of average size.
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