How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Kingston New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Kingston NJ is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors 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 roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Kingston NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled 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
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Kingston NJ dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Kingston NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Kingston NJ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided 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 program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify 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 get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Kingston NJ employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Kingston NJ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Check 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 Kingston NJ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Kingston NJ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Kingston NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Kingston NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Kingston NJ?
Kingston, New Jersey
Kingston is an unincorporated community and census designated place (CDP) along the border of South Brunswick Township in Middlesex County and Franklin Township in Somerset County, in New Jersey, United States. At the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 1,493, of which 1,222 were in South Brunswick Township and 271 in Franklin Township.
The New Jersey State Planning Commission created the Kingston Village Advisory Committee to address issues related to this distinct area. Both South Brunswick and Franklin appoint members to the committee, which holds an annual meeting to discuss issues pertinent to the Kingston area.
Jediah Higgins purchased 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from the Native Americans in the early 18th century and the town of Kingston was established. Kingston's location on the Lenape Assunpink Trail where it crossed the Millstone River and later becoming part of the King's Highway was the prime factor in its early prominence.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 2.326 square miles (6.025 km2), of which, 2.238 square miles (5.796 km2) of it was land and 0.088 square miles (0.229 km2) of it (3.80%) was water.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Kingston NJ
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering 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 addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Kingston NJ.
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