How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Park Ridge New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Park Ridge NJ is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the college’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 discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Park Ridge NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Park Ridge NJ dental offices are generally 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 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 dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Park Ridge NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Park Ridge NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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 training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Park Ridge NJ employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Park Ridge NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive 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 create professional relationships in the Park Ridge NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help 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 probably have excellent reputations within the Park Ridge NJ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Park Ridge NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private 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 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 be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Park Ridge NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Park Ridge NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Park Ridge NJ?
Park Ridge, New Jersey
Park Ridge is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. Park Ridge had a population of 8,645 as of the 2010 United States Census, reflecting a decline of 63 (-0.7%) from the 8,708 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 606 (+7.5%) from the 8,102 counted in the 1990 Census.
Park Ridge was created as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 15, 1894, from portions of Washington Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. Park Ridge obtained a portion of River Vale (July 15, 1929), exchanged portions with Woodcliff Lake (December 12, 1955), received part of Washington Township (November 26, 1956), exchanged portions with Hillsdale (February 10, 1958) and Woodcliff Lake (June 9, 1958) and received another part of Washington Township (August 11, 1958). The borough's name derives from its location.
Park Ridge's Pascack Historical Society Museum, at 19 Ridge Avenue, houses the world's only wampum drilling machine. This wooden artifact was made in Park Ridge by the Campbell Brothers who invented a way to drill through long pieces of hair pipe shells so that they could be strung and worn as breast plates by the Plains Indians, among others. Needing water for the operation, the industrious brothers leased a woolen mill that stood on the Pascack Brook. When that burned down they built their own mill farther down Pascack Creek on their land another shop on Pascack Road near their homestead. Both building housed drilling machines on their second floors where they were safe from prying eyes, as the two machines had not been patented. In the early 19th century, John Jacob Astor purchased wampum from the Campbells to trade with the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest whose beaver pelts he turned into men's hats. The best years for the wampum business were between 1835 and 1866. The drilling machine can be seen at the Pascack Historical Society Museum on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until noon and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.603 square miles (6.740 km2), including 2.582 square miles (6.686 km2) of land and 0.021 square miles (0.054 km2) of water (0.79%).
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Park Ridge NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial 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 options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Park Ridge NJ.
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