How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Fanwood 07023
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Fanwood NJ is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Fanwood dental practice and can undertake a multitude of duties. Their main job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of New Jersey dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling 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 mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Fanwood dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the New Jersey practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at New Jersey junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. 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 two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Fanwood area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant program can be a good option for getting your education. Just remember 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 by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Fanwood home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like 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 necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental college is the ideal option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Fanwood area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search 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 programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fanwood area employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Fanwood area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most Fanwood area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Fanwood 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 are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the New Jersey colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 07023 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Fanwood in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Best Dental School near Fanwood NJChoosing the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose 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 or assistant.