How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near West Stewartstown New Hampshire
Picking the right dental hygienist training near West Stewartstown NH is an essential initial 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 far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the West Stewartstown NH practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based 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
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any West Stewartstown NH dental practice and can carry out a variety of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the New Hampshire dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at West Stewartstown NH area community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally required to have 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in West Stewartstown NH area vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your West Stewartstown NH home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing New Hampshire schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the West Stewartstown NH area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college 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. Employers in West Stewartstown NH typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited New Hampshire colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the New Hampshire college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices 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 West Stewartstown NH dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and 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 just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides enough 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 West Stewartstown NH college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real West Stewartstown NH dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Stewartstown NH dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the New Hampshire schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether 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 costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in West Stewartstown NH.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your West Stewartstown NH home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Hygiene prospects is "What made you pick Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near West Stewartstown NH
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in West Stewartstown NH.
A Bit About West Stewartstown New Hampshire
Stewartstown, New Hampshire
Stewartstown is a town in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,004 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of West Stewartstown and is part of the Berlin, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Stewartstown was granted in 1770 and incorporated in 1795. Originally named Stuart after Sir John Stuart, it was incorporated as Stewartstown after the Revolutionary War, following the original Scottish spelling of the name.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.8 square miles (121 km2), of which 46.2 square miles (120 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) is water, comprising 1.23% of the town. The highest point is the summit of Sugar Hill, at 2,985 feet (910 m) above sea level, near the town's southeastern corner.
The primary settlement in the town is the village of West Stewartstown on U.S. Route 3 along the Connecticut River, opposite the town of Canaan, Vermont. Stewartstown village is a mile northeast of West Stewartstown, along Route 3 and opposite the village of Beecher Falls, Vermont. To the east, the village of Stewartstown Hollow is closer to the geographic center of the town, along New Hampshire Route 145.
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