How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Fort Lee 07024
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Fort Lee NJ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Fort Lee dental practice and can carry out a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some New Jersey dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the New Jersey dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Fort Lee dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the New Jersey practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at New Jersey junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Fort Lee area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Fort Lee home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental college is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Fort Lee area programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the New Jersey schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fort Lee area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Fort Lee area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many Fort Lee area dental colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Fort Lee dental practice. They make it easier for 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the New Jersey colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses 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 include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 07024 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Fort Lee at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Dental College near Fort Lee NJPicking the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.