How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Cliffside Park New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Cliffside Park NJ is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges 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 comparing the duties 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 in support of the Cliffside Park NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Cliffside Park NJ dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Cliffside Park NJ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cliffside Park NJ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Cliffside Park NJ employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Cliffside Park NJ dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Cliffside Park NJ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Cliffside Park NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Cliffside Park NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? 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 will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Cliffside Park NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cliffside Park NJ?
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
Cliffside Park is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 23,594, reflecting an increase of 587 (+2.6%) from the 23,007 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,614 (+12.8%) from the 20,393 counted in the 1990 Census.
Cliffside Park was formed based on the results of a referendum held on January 15, 1895, from portions of Ridgefield Township. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, as of one two boroughs created in 1895 after 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. The borough was named for its location as a "Park by the Cliffs".
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg resided in the borough until his death in 2013. Cliffside Park was home to the former Palisades Amusement Park, part of which was located in adjoining Fort Lee. The 38-acre (15 ha) park operated from 1898 until 1971, remaining one of the most-visited amusement parks in the country until its closure, after which the rides and attractions were removed and the site replaced by high-rise apartment buildings.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.963 square mile (2.493 km2), all of which was land. Located atop the Hudson Palisades, Anderson Avenue and Palisade Avenue are the town's major north-south thoroughfares, the latter offering views of the Hudson River and New York City skyline.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Cliffside Park NJ
Picking the right 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 a number of options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cliffside Park NJ.
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