How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Allentown New Jersey
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Allentown NJ is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Allentown NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out 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
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Allentown NJ 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for getting your education. Just keep in mind 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 via your personal computer in the comfort of your Allentown NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. 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 office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Allentown NJ, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Allentown NJ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in provides 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Allentown NJ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Allentown NJ dental community 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 colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Allentown NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, 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 substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Allentown NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Allentown NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Allentown NJ?
Allentown, New Jersey
Allentown is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,828, reflecting a decline of 54 (-2.9%) from the 1,882 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 54 (+3.0%) from the 1,828 counted in the 1990 Census.
Allentown was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 29, 1889, from portions of Upper Freehold Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The borough was named for settler Robert Burnet's son-in-law, Nathan Allen or for William Allen, who served as Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania.
Allentown's shopping district has antique and specialty shops, as well as restaurants. Many historic homes and historic buildings are located in the borough. The Horse Park of New Jersey is a park located near the borough but does have an Allentown mailing address.
The borough received the 'Village Center' designation in 2002, which will allow the borough to receive additional state aid aimed at preserving historic and natural resource sites that are at risk.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Allentown NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Allentown NJ.
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