How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Glen Gardner 08826
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Glen Gardner NJ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Glen Gardner dental office and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of New Jersey dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing 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 handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the New Jersey dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a Glen Gardner dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the New Jersey practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at New Jersey community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Glen Gardner area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Glen Gardner home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Glen Gardner area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the New Jersey colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glen Gardner area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Glen Gardner area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most Glen Gardner area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Glen Gardner dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the New Jersey schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 08826 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Glen Gardner in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental College near Glen Gardner NJPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.