How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Whippany New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Whippany NJ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental 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 roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role 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 in support of the Whippany NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once 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
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Whippany NJ dental offices 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 almost 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a good alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind 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 provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Whippany NJ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. 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 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 method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Whippany NJ, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 of the highest quality and comprehensive. Whippany NJ employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Whippany NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Whippany NJ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Whippany NJ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Whippany NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Whippany NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Whippany NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Whippany NJ?
Whippany, New Jersey
Whippany is an unincorporated community located within Hanover Township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. Whippany's name is derived from the Whippanong Native Americans, a tribe that once inhabited the area. Whippanong meant "place of the willows", named for the trees growing along the banks of the Whippany River.
The earliest European settlers to live along the Whippany River can be traced back to 1685. The Whippany River was an integral part of life in the area; it provided the water power for the various mills which operated in the town.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Whippany NJ
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Whippany NJ.
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