How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Brightwaters 11718
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Brightwaters NY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting 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 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Brightwaters dental practice and can perform a myriad of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some New York dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a Brightwaters dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the New York practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about 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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at New York community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Brightwaters area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Brightwaters home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Brightwaters area schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the New York schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Brightwaters area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Brightwaters area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could 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 right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many Brightwaters area dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Brightwaters dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the New York colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 11718 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Brightwaters in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Pick the Ideal Dental Program near Brightwaters NYPicking the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.