How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Lakehurst New Jersey
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Lakehurst NJ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lakehurst NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal 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 gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lakehurst NJ dental offices are usually 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 complete 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Lakehurst NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lakehurst NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. 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 some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of 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 ultimate 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 college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lakehurst 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 offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Lakehurst NJ dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, practical 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lakehurst NJ dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Lakehurst NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lakehurst NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Lakehurst NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lakehurst NJ?
Lakehurst, New Jersey
Lakehurst is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,654, reflecting an increase of 132 (+5.2%) from the 2,522 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 556 (-18.1%) from the 3,078 counted in the 1990 Census.
Lakehurst was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 7, 1921, from portions of Manchester Township, based on the results of a referendum held on May 24, 1921. The borough is named for its location near lakes and woods.
The community of Lakehurst first reached international fame as a winter resort around the turn of the 20th century, following the opening of the Pine Tree Inn in 1898. In 1911, the rope factory in the town burned down, prompting the formation of a volunteer fire department.
The Hindenburg disaster, occurred on May 6, 1937, the German zeppelin Hindenburg arriving from Frankfurt am Main caught fire at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, which is located in Manchester Township (not in the borough of Lakehurst).
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Lakehurst NJ
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lakehurst NJ.
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