How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Chauncey 25612
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Chauncey WV is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Chauncey dental practice and can perform a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many West Virginia dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of 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 Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Chauncey 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 in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the West Virginia practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at West Virginia community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Chauncey area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Chauncey home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental online school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Chauncey area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the West Virginia colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Chauncey area employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable 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 school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Chauncey area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and 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, clearly it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of Chauncey area dental schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Chauncey 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the West Virginia schools you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can 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 in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume 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 besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 25612 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Chauncey in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Select the Right Dental School near Chauncey WVSelecting 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 you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs 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 roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.