How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Aurora 13026
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Aurora NY is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Aurora dental practice and can perform a wide range of duties. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of New York dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing 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 deviate by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Aurora dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the New York practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at New York junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed 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 vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Aurora area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant college might be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Aurora home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Aurora area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the New York colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant 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 exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Aurora area employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, many Aurora area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most Aurora area dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest 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 care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Aurora dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the New York schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually 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 provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 13026 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Aurora 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 making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Dental Program near Aurora NYPicking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist 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 a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.