How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Berkeley Heights New Jersey
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Berkeley Heights NJ is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Berkeley Heights NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Berkeley Heights NJ dental practices are generally 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 almost 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Berkeley Heights NJ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Berkeley Heights NJ, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college 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. Berkeley Heights NJ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Berkeley Heights NJ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical 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 establish professional relationships in the Berkeley Heights NJ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 Berkeley Heights NJ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Berkeley Heights NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs 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 schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Berkeley Heights NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Berkeley Heights NJ 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Berkeley Heights NJ?
Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Berkeley Heights is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 13,183, reflecting a decline of 224 (-1.7%) from the 13,407 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,427 (+11.9%) from the 11,980 counted in the 1990 Census.
Berkeley Heights was originally incorporated as New Providence Township by the New Jersey Legislature on November 8, 1809, from portions of Springfield Township, while the area was still part of Essex County. New Providence Township became part of the newly formed Union County at its creation on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township were taken on March 23, 1869, to create Summit, and on March 14, 1899, to form the borough of New Providence. On November 6, 1951, the name of the township was changed to Berkeley Heights, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The township was named for John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton, one of the founders of the Province of New Jersey.
In Money magazine's 2013 Best Places to Live rankings, Berkeley Heights was ranked 6th in the nation, the highest among the three places in New Jersey included in the top 50 list. The magazine's 2007 list had the township ranked 45th out of a potential 2,800 places in the United States with populations above 7,500 and under 50,000.
In its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places to Live", New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Berkeley Heights as the 19th best place to live in New Jersey. In its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Berkeley Heights as the 59th best place to live in New Jersey.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Berkeley Heights NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Berkeley Heights NJ.
More Great Cities in New Jersey
Business Results 1 - 10 of 365