How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Lake Hopatcong New Jersey
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Lake Hopatcong NJ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lake Hopatcong NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lake Hopatcong NJ dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Lake Hopatcong NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lake Hopatcong NJ, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lake Hopatcong NJ employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Lake Hopatcong NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to obtain hands-on, practical 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 build professional relationships in the Lake Hopatcong NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lake Hopatcong NJ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lake Hopatcong NJ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. 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, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lake Hopatcong NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Lake Hopatcong NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lake Hopatcong NJ?
Lake Hopatcong is the largest freshwater body in New Jersey, United States, about 4 square miles (10 km²) in area. Located 30 miles from the Delaware River and 40 miles from Manhattan, New York City, the lake forms part of the border between Sussex and Morris counties in the state's northern highlands region. Lake Hopatcong was produced by damming and flooding of two ponds, known as the Great Pond and Little Pond, and the Musconetcong River, its natural outlet. Historically known as a resort lake for vacationing New Yorkers, it is now a mostly suburban residential lake.
The exact origin of the name Hopatcong is unknown, though it is most commonly attributed to the Lenape Indian word for "stone water," or "stone over water". Some linguists believe "Hopatcong" to be a derivative of the Lenape word hapakonoesson, meaning "pipe stone". One explanation of the origin of the word Hopatcong is that it was a derivation from the Lenni Lenape word Huppakong meaning "honey waters of many coves", but this wording was probably invented at the beginning of the 20th century to stimulate tourism.
Before the late 1700s, Lake Hopatcong was known by several names, including Great Pond and Little Pond (before flooding into a single lake), Sandhay Sea (circa 1648), Brookland Pond (mid-1700s), and Musconetcong Pond (1769).
Before the last ice age, the waters of the prehistoric Hopatcong basin fed into the Raritan River. The glacier that shaped much of the New Jersey Highlands formed a long terminal moraine that forced water from the basin into the Musconetcong River. The glacier left behind two ponds, nearly two miles apart.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Lake Hopatcong NJ
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. 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 right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lake Hopatcong NJ.
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