How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Wildwood New Jersey
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Wildwood NJ is an important initial step toward beginning 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 completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues 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 roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role 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 assists the Wildwood NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth 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
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wildwood NJ dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wildwood NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often 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 proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wildwood NJ, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going 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 program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Wildwood NJ employers typically prefer 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 offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Wildwood NJ dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wildwood NJ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Wildwood NJ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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 schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Wildwood NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Wildwood NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wildwood NJ?
Wildwood, New Jersey
Wildwood is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area and is a popular summer resort destination. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's year-round population was 5,325, reflecting a decline of 111 (-2.0%) from the 5,436 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 952 (+21.2%) from the 4,484 counted in the 1990 Census. With visitors, the population can swell to 250,000 during the summer months. Wildwood was the first city in New Jersey to have a female mayor, Doris W. Bradway, who was ousted in a 1938 recall election.
The Wildwoods is used as a collective term for the four communities located on Wildwood island that have "Wildwood" as part of the municipality name — the Borough of Wildwood Crest, City of Wildwood, Borough of West Wildwood and the City of North Wildwood — together with Diamond Beach, a portion of Lower Township situated on the island. The city, and the surrounding communities that share the name, derives its name from the wild flowers found in the area.
Wildwood was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 1, 1895, from portions of Middle Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. On January 1, 1912, Wildwood was incorporated as a city, replacing both Wildwood borough and Holly Beach City.
The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century. A building boom began in the 1950s, due partially to the construction and completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1955.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Wildwood NJ
Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend 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 ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wildwood NJ.
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