How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Bridgewater New Jersey
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Bridgewater NJ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college 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 also, including the college’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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Bridgewater NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Bridgewater NJ dental offices 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 finish 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Bridgewater NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Bridgewater NJ, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make 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 right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Bridgewater NJ employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Bridgewater NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain 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 create professional relationships in the Bridgewater NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Bridgewater NJ dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the programs you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Bridgewater NJ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Bridgewater NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Bridgewater NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Bridgewater NJ?
Bridgewater Township, New Jersey
Bridgewater Township is a township in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 44,464, reflecting an increase of 1,524 (+3.5%) from the 42,940 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 10,431 (+32.1%) from the 32,509 counted in the 1990 Census. As of the 2016 Population Estimates Program census estimate, the township's population was 44,999.
Bridgewater Township was originally created by Royal charter on April 4, 1749, from portions of the Northern precinct. It was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, under the Township Act of 1798. During the nineteenth century, portions of the township were taken to form Warren Township (March 5, 1806), Branchburg Township (April 5, 1845), Somerville (March 25, 1863), Raritan (April 3, 1868) and Bound Brook (March 24, 1869).
Bridgewater is a relatively large, suburban township located in the center of Somerset County. The area of the present Township of Bridgewater was originally purchased from a local Lenape Native American tribe. Bridgewater was chartered by George II of Great Britain in 1749, and incorporated on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's 104 original townships. It is named after the town of Bridgwater in the English county of Somerset.
Tradition holds that it was at the Middlebrook encampment that the first official flag of the United States was unfurled, after a law to adopt a national flag had been passed by Congress on June 14, 1777. By special order of Congress, a Thirteen Star Flag is flown 24 hours a day at the Washington Camp Ground, part of the former Middlebrook encampment, in Bridgewater. Since 1889, the first hoisting of the flag is commemorated annually each July 4 with a changing of the flag, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and the delivery of an historical address.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Bridgewater NJ
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn 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 attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Bridgewater NJ.
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