DEPARTMENT OF ALLIED DENTAL EDUCATION
The Department of Allied Dental Education offers programs in dental assisting, dental hygiene, continuing education for practitioners, clinical services and coursework as part of the dental concentration of the Bachelor of Science in Health Science Program (BSHS). Student enrollment is approximately eighty five (85) in the dental assisting and hygiene programs; thirty five (35) in the dental concentration of the BSHS and varying numbers in the 100-150 range in continuing education course offerings annually.
The faculty and students in the Department provide preventive services to approximately fifteen hundred (1500) patients during the academic year on the Newark and Scotch Plains campuses. We also served hundreds of residents through participation approximately twenty five (25) community service activities during the same year.
Departmental Mission Statement
Inextricably related to SHRP’s overall mission, the mission of the UMDNJ-SHRP’s Department of Allied Dental Education is to promote professional standards of excellence and leadership among its students and health professionals while meeting the health care needs of New Jersey residents through patient care, education, research, and service.
The Department’s unique and innovative curriculum reflects the direction of allied dental practice and often presages the evolution of the profession. The Department seeks to develop new and innovative approaches to education while keeping pace with current treatment modalities and research strategies. The students develop a humanistic approach to health care delivery as well as critical thinking problem solving, independent decision-making and research skills which characterize the professional.
The Department strives to instill in its students and members of the allied dental professions, a dedication to life-long learning, teamwork and continued growth within the health professions.
ALLIED DENTAL EDUCATION OVERVIEW
Founded in 1972, the Department of Allied Dental Education is located in Scotch Plains, NJ. The department’s mission is to train the next generation of dental professionals by offering a competitive and affordable program. Over the years, it has grown from 20 students to approximately 100 students by offering high quality training for dental professionals. There are currently two programs being offered: The Dental Assisting Program and the Dental Hygiene Program. Both Programs offer didactic, laboratory and hands on training using state of the art equipment and a highly skilled faculty of dental professionals.
The mission of the UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education is to promote professional standards of excellence and leadership among its students and health professionals while meeting the health care needs of New Jersey residents through patient care, education, research, and service. The Department also participates in baccalaureate degree completion as part of SHRP’s Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) degree offering through the Allied Dental Concentration.
The Dental Hygiene program was established in 1978 to prepare students for a dental career that covers many areas including dental assisting, dentistry, teaching, research, and business. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation and offers the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students can obtain the AAS by completing 4 semesters of classroom and clinical work that total 52 credits. Prior to being admitted, students must complete 34 credits of general education prerequisites which include basic sciences and other courses. The program prepares students for the rigors of the profession by focusing on specific cognitive, motor, behavioral, and social skills that are critical success factors. In addition, there is a focus on board exam preparation, including the RDH (registered dental hygienist).
Established in 1972, the Dental Assisting program prepares students for the dental assisting profession with specific focus on the prevention of oral and periodontal diseases. Students can earn the Certification for Dental Assisting (CDA), licensure as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), and Dental Radiologic Technologist (LRDT), as well as cover a variety of duties delegated by the dentist. Upon graduation students will be capable of performing advanced level dental auxiliary functions and assuming responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and communities. The program’s rigorous standards cover exam preparation, licensure, and professional advancement. It is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education also offers continuing education courses that are geared towards keeping dental health professionals abreast with new technological advancements and techniques in the dental health profession. Multiple courses are offered every semester, including Expanded Functions for the Dental Auxiliary, Nitrous Oxide Sedation Monitoring for the Allied Dental Team, Administration of Local Anesthesia for Registered Dental Hygienists, Educational Theory and Methodology for Dental and Allied Health Education, and Board examination review courses, to mention a few.
Allied Dental Education has formed a number of mutually beneficial strategic alliances with other institutions. An alliance with the New Jersey Dental School (NJDS) allows students to complete a portion of their clinical training at their Newark campus. Also, applicants for the dental hygiene program must first be admitted into one of the five affiliate schools (Brookdale Community College, Essex County College, Raritan Valley Community College, Thomas Edison State College, and Union County College and Middlesex County College (MCC for DA only)
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education strives to hire and retain well skilled professionals. Besides educating our students to be the best dental professionals, our faculty members have authored peer review articles, written book chapters and articles, given presentations at the local and national levels, and served in leadership positions on state and national committees.
Here at UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education, we are very committed to our community. We demonstrate this commitment by contributing our services and promoting wellness, and through our sponsorship of some community organizations/events including Give Kids a Smile, Jumpstart, Dental Day at the Liberty Science Center, Annual Wellness and recovery conference, just to name a few. Allied Dental Education also continues to strive for diversity among its students, faculty and staff.
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education, in collaboration with Colgate-Palmolive, has been and continues to participate in multiple research activities such as clinical trials of dental products to contribute to advances in dental health.
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education prides itself in the credentialing exam pass rates and employability of its graduates. Allied Dental Education boasts a 100% pass rate on board and credentialing exams, and by graduation the greater percentage of students have already obtained employment commitments. Within 3 months of graduation, 90% - 100% of students have jobs.
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education also has a faculty practice which provides full dental services to patients, beyond the preventive services as part of dental hygiene clinic sessions. The faculty practice has about 5 sessions a week, and sees about 60 patients a year.
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education has clinic sessions, where it sees about 1700 patients a year between its Scotch Plains campus facility and the New Jersey Dental School facility. The clinic sessions which are part of the students’ program curriculum is a great way for our students to gain valuable experience, while given a much needed service to the public.
HIGH SCHOOL OUTREACH
UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education is also involved in a high school shadowing program. Outstanding students from area high schools are invited to the clinic sessions to observe the dental hygiene students and to perform related laboratory procedures to explore dentistry as a viable career option. This program is designed to give the high school students some exposure to the dental health field and serve as a motivational tool to encourage the pursuit of a college degree. Several high school students have later enrolled in programs in UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education.
As the UMDNJ-SHRP’ Department of Allied Dental Education continues its quest for excellence, we will continue to provide timely and innovative academic programming to meet student, faculty, practitioner and patient needs, provide quality patient care, and participate in community services to diverse population groups to enhance access to care for state residents.
The Department of Allied Dental Education on the Scotch Plains campus offers education to dental assisting and hygiene students and provides preventive services to residents in surrounding counties. We serve approximately 1000 patients annually. The facility has also been used for complimentary preventive services for children during Children’s Dental Health Month, care for special needs children from the Scotch Plains - Fanwood School District, senior care and programs for the underserved. The dental facility was constructed in the 1970’s and since 1995, has been the major site for pre-clinical, laboratory and clinical education for students in the programs, licensed practitioners pursuing advanced academic degrees and practitioners participating in continuing education coursework for professional development and licensure renewal.
The clinical area is separated into twenty (20) work station cubicles for individualized patient care. There are also four (4) radiology units to accommodate both traditional and computerized digital radiography (CDR) . The use of computers is being integrated into the facility for recording patient services, maintaining treatment records, accessing information via the Internet during patient care as a part of case based education and for development of individualized treatment plans specific to the needs of the patient as part of evidence based practice.