How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Essex Fells New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Essex Fells NJ is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Essex Fells NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Essex Fells NJ dental practices are usually required to have 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Essex Fells NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Essex Fells NJ, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Essex Fells NJ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Essex Fells NJ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical 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 professional relationships in the Essex Fells NJ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Essex Fells NJ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Essex Fells 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 Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Essex Fells NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure 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 attend classes near Essex Fells NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Essex Fells NJ?
Essex Fells, New Jersey
Essex Fells is a borough in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,113, reflecting a decline of 49 (-2.3%) from the 2,162 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 23 (+1.1%) from the 2,139 counted in the 1990 Census.
Essex Fells was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 31, 1902, from portions of Caldwell Township (now Fairfield Township). In 1981, the borough was one of seven Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining four municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. Effective January 1, 1992, it again became a borough.
New Jersey Family magazine ranked Essex Fells as the best town for families in its 2016 rankings of "New Jersey's Best Towns for Families".New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Essex Fells as its 10th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
Essex Fells was part of the Horseneck Tract, which was an area that consisted of what are now the municipalities of Caldwell, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Fairfield, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Roseland, and portions of Livingston and West Orange.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Essex Fells NJ
Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Essex Fells NJ.
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