In Canada, dental hygiene programs are accredited by the CDAC (Commission on Dental Accreditation in Canada). CDAC is legally mandated to develop the strict requirements that college programs have to meet.
Before a college can be accredited, CDAC sends an accreditation survey team to scrutinize the specifics of the program in an on-site visit. The team gets its information from the college, from students, from instructors, and from other stakeholders.
Thanks to the stringent scrutiny, only 18 programs in Ontario are accredited. CDAC posts the approved programs on its website.
Some colleges offer non-accredited programs, but going for such a program is risky because you may fail to sit the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination. Without this exam, you can never have a career as a dental hygienist.
CDAC accreditation is not enough. The program should be taught by instructors who have industry experience. Dental hygienist profession is a hands-on profession and instructors who only have theoretical knowledge will not help you.
A good dental hygiene program is one that offers you hands-on training. You should be able to interact with the equipment and tools you will be using in the trade such as x-ray machines so that you are ready for the job market on exit. The program should also help you develop your soft skills such as communication skills that are invaluable in the profession.
Although the dental hygienist profession has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada which currently stands at 1.3% against a national unemployment rate of 6.5% as of June 2017 according to statistics from CDHA, getting a job is still a challenge for many students. The dental hygienist school you attend should offer some form of career coaching and it should have a dedicated career services department. The school should offer help with such things as writing cover letters and resumes and mock interviews.
Conducive learning environment
Most dental hygienist programs take about 2 years. Ensure that the school is conducive – 2 years is a long time to spend in a school that you don’t like. Consider such things as available extra-curricular activities, the dorms, available amenities, and the night-life.
Ensure that the tuition fees quoted covers all textbooks, a set of periodontal instruments, scrubs, lab coat, safety glasses, dental model (typodont), and handouts. Even when looking for cost-friendly dental hygienist programs, always remember colleges with overly low fees are most likely cutting corners.
Dental Hygienist School Toronto
It is always a good idea to book a campus tour before enrolling on a dental hygiene program in dental hygienist school Toronto. This allows you to interact with instructors and students and to look at the facilities.