How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Ridgewood New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Ridgewood NJ is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the school’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 longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Ridgewood NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Ridgewood NJ dental practices are usually required to hold 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Ridgewood NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Ridgewood NJ, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Ridgewood NJ employers often desire or require that new hires 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 programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Ridgewood NJ dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Ridgewood NJ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Ridgewood NJ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Ridgewood NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Ridgewood NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Ridgewood NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Ridgewood NJ?
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Ridgewood is a village in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 24,958, reflecting an increase of 22 (+0.1%) from the 24,936 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 784 (+3.2%) from the 24,152 counted in the 1990 Census. Ridgewood is a suburban bedroom community of New York City, located approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan.
The Village of Ridgewood was created on November 20, 1894, with the same boundaries as Ridgewood Township (formerly known as Godwinville). The Village became the municipal government while the Township remained a school district. In 1902, the village added portions of Orvil Township, which were returned to Orvil Township in 1915. In 1925, Ridgewood Village acquired area from Franklin Township (remainder now dissolved as Wyckoff). On February 9, 1971, Ridgewood acquired area from Washington Township. On May 28, 1974, it acquired area from Ho-Ho-Kus. The name of the village derives from the characteristics of its terrain.
Graydon began as a plot of land called Linwood Park and generously donated to the Village by resident Samuel Graydon in 1912. Before the pond that is there now, it was only the river, which is what children swam in. Every summer, Mr. Graydon would dam up the river and it would flood and create a deeper place to swim. People would picnic by the water and hold events there. Graydon remains one of the jewels of Ridgewood, treasured by residents young and old.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village had a total area of 5.818 square miles (15.069 km2), including 5.752 square miles (14.898 km2) of land and 0.066 square miles (0.172 km2) of water (1.14%).
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Ridgewood NJ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated 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 training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Ridgewood NJ.
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Community Colleges in New Jersey
There are 19 community colleges and universities in New Jersey enrolling 122,004 students. Explore the list below to find the community college match for you. Community colleges are local public schools which provide a great first step towards a full four year college bachelor's degree.
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