How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Belle Mead New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Belle Mead NJ is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Belle Mead NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Belle Mead NJ dental practices are normally required to have 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 virtually every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Belle Mead NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Belle Mead NJ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Belle Mead NJ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select 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 Belle Mead NJ dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Belle Mead NJ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Belle Mead NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Belle Mead NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Belle Mead NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Belle Mead NJ?
Belle Mead, New Jersey
Belle Mead is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Montgomery Township, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 216.
Up until about 1875, Belle Mead, then named Plainville, was considered to be part of the community of Harlingen. It was a quiet farming region when about that time a New York City contractor named Van Aken bought up all the local farms and set out to develop a city. He had the farms laid out into lots, some streets put through and named after the style of New York. He donated land for the railroad station that had a dining room underneath (the station was torn down in February, 1940). There is an abandoned train station in Belle Mead. When Van Aken went broke, the property was sold to a U.S. Senator, John R. McPherson, who changed the name from Vanaken to Belle Mead in honor of his daughter, Edna Belle Mead McPherson, according to one popular story.
Woods Tavern in Belle Mead was a popular stop for travelers for more than 100 years and played an important social and political role. Horace Greeley spoke there in 1872 as part of his campaign for President of the United States. The tavern burned down in 1932.
Dr. John Summerskill and his wife, Mimi LaFollette Summerskill established the LaFollette Vineyard in Belle Mead in the 1970s. President Bill Clinton and 14 Democratic governors met for a strategy session and press conference at the vineyard during the 1992 presidential campaign.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Belle Mead NJ
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Belle Mead NJ.
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