How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Campbellsburg 47108
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Campbellsburg IN is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties 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 typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete 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 talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Campbellsburg dental office and can perform a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some Indiana dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing 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 Indiana dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Campbellsburg dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Indiana practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 as well as any state licensing exams. When 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 Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Indiana junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared 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 two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Campbellsburg area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind 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 accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Campbellsburg home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Campbellsburg area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Indiana schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Campbellsburg area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you choose offers 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. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Campbellsburg area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many Campbellsburg area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides enough 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, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Campbellsburg dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools 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 position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Indiana schools you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting 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. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 47108 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Campbellsburg in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Select the Right Dental School near Campbellsburg INPicking the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.