How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Merchantville New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Merchantville NJ is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program 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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional 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 available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Merchantville NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Merchantville NJ dental practices are normally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Merchantville NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Merchantville NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Merchantville NJ employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides adequate 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, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Merchantville NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Merchantville NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Merchantville NJ dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Merchantville NJ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Merchantville NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Merchantville NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Merchantville NJ?
Merchantville, New Jersey
Merchantville is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,821, reflecting an increase of 20 (+0.5%) from the 3,801 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 294 (−7.2%) from the 4,095 counted in the 1990 Census.
While one source attributes the borough's name to a family named Merchant, Francis F. Eastlack, in his History of Merchantville, tells the story of the four developers of Merchantville—Matthias Homer, John Louty, Samuel McFadden and Frederick Gerker—meeting and discussing names, when it was suggested "Gentlemen, as you are all merchants, why not call it Merchantville?"
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,821 people, 1,574 households, and 966.4 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,371.3 per square mile (2,460.0/km2). There were 1,688 housing units at an average density of 2,814.6 per square mile (1,086.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 76.58% (2,926) White, 13.01% (497) Black or African American, 0.37% (14) Native American, 2.28% (87) Asian, 0.05% (2) Pacific Islander, 4.42% (169) from other races, and 3.30% (126) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.62% (444) of the population.
There were 1,574 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.09.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near Merchantville NJ
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Merchantville NJ.
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