How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Mount Laurel New Jersey
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Mount Laurel 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Mount Laurel NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based 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 X-rays and developing film
- 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once 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 Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Mount Laurel NJ dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Mount Laurel NJ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Mount Laurel NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided 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 Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Mount Laurel NJ employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers 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 select offers clinical rotation in a local Mount Laurel NJ dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Mount Laurel NJ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Mount Laurel NJ dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Mount Laurel NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Mount Laurel NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Mount Laurel NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Mount Laurel NJ?
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Mount Laurel is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, and is an edge city suburb of Philadelphia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 41,864, reflecting an increase of 1,643 (+4.1%) from the 40,221 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 9,951 (+32.9%) from the 30,270 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the home of NFL Films.
Mount Laurel was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 7, 1872, from portions of Evesham Township. The township was named for a hill covered with laurel trees.
The Mount Laurel Decision is a judicial interpretation of the New Jersey State Constitution that requires municipalities to use their zoning powers in an affirmative manner to provide a realistic opportunity for the production of housing affordable to low and moderate income households. The decision was a result of a lawsuit brought against the town by the N.A.A.C.P. that was decided by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1975 and reaffirmed in a subsequent decision in 1983.
Mount Laurel was a small, poor rural farming community until it was hit with massive suburban growth from Philadelphia in the later 1900s. Poor families, whose history had resided there for centuries, were suddenly priced out of buying additional property. In 1970, at a meeting about a proposal for affordable housing, held at an all black church in Mount Laurel, Mayor Bill Haines summed up the newcomers' perspective by saying: "If you people can't afford to live in our town, then you'll just have to leave."
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Mount Laurel NJ
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Mount Laurel NJ.
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