How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Glasser 07837
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Glasser NJ is an essential first step toward beginning 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 completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Glasser dental office and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of New Jersey dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing 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 need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a Glasser dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the New Jersey practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure 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 Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at New Jersey junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Glasser area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a great alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Glasser home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Glasser area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the New Jersey programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glasser area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify 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 have a career as a hygienist, many Glasser area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of Glasser area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Glasser dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the New Jersey programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 07837 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Glasser in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Find the Best Dental School near Glasser NJChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing 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 better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.