How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Hightstown New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Hightstown NJ is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Hightstown NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying 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 nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hightstown NJ dental offices are often required to hold 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hightstown NJ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hightstown NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important 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 Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Hightstown NJ employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Hightstown NJ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Hightstown NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance getting 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 probably have excellent reputations within the Hightstown NJ dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Hightstown 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 enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, 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 substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Hightstown NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Hightstown NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hightstown NJ?
Hightstown, New Jersey
Hightstown is a borough in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 5,494, reflecting an increase of 278 (+5.3%) from the 5,216 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 90 (+1.8%) from the 5,126 counted in the 1990 Census.
Hightstown was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 5, 1853, within portions of East Windsor Township. The borough became fully independent c. 1894. Additional portions of East Windsor Township were annexed in 1913, 1915 and 1927. It was named for John and Mary Hight, who established a tavern in the area in the 1750s.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.242 square miles (3.218 km2), including 1.211 square miles (3.137 km2) of land and 0.031 square miles (0.081 km2) of water (2.52%).
The borough is an independent municipality surrounded entirely by East Windsor Township, making it part one of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist College near Hightstown NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hightstown NJ.
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