How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near South Plainfield New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near South Plainfield NJ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including 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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues 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 provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the South Plainfield NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in South Plainfield NJ dental practices are normally required to hold 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 virtually 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your South Plainfield NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in South Plainfield NJ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. South Plainfield NJ employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local South Plainfield NJ dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the South Plainfield NJ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the South Plainfield NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing 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 South Plainfield NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near South Plainfield NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near South Plainfield NJ?
South Plainfield, New Jersey
South Plainfield is a borough in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 23,385, reflecting an increase of 1,575 (+7.2%) from the 21,810 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,321 (+6.4%) from the 20,489 counted in the 1990 Census.
South Plainfield was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 12, 1926, from portions of Piscataway Township, based on the results of a referendum passed on April 6, 1926. The borough's name derives from Plainfield, which derived its name from a local estate or from its scenic location.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 8.361 square miles (21.653 km2), including 8.327 square miles (21.566 km2) of land and 0.034 square miles (0.087 km2) of water (0.40%).
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,385 people, 7,876 households, and 6,175 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,808.5 per square mile (1,084.4/km2). There were 8,093 housing units at an average density of 971.9 per square mile (375.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 66.74% (15,607) White, 10.10% (2,361) Black or African American, 0.37% (87) Native American, 14.68% (3,433) Asian, 0.03% (8) Pacific Islander, 4.79% (1,120) from other races, and 3.29% (769) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.24% (3,097) of the population.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near South Plainfield NJ
Picking the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in South Plainfield NJ.
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