Accredited Dental Hygienist Training | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Colliersville NY 13747

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Colliersville 13747

dental assistant training in Colliersville NYSelecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Colliersville NY is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists generally 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 should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.

The Job of Dental Assistants

Colliersville dental assistant helping dentist 13747Dental assistants are an essential part of any Colliersville dental practice and can perform a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some New York dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental 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 working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Colliersville dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen comparing the role of a Colliersville dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the New York practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients about oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

In order to be licensed in nearly 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. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options

Dental assistant programs are provided at New York junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Colliersville area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Training

attending dental assistant school online in Colliersville homeEnrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a good alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Colliersville home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental school is the right option for you.

Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 13747When you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Colliersville area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the New York schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. 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 examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Colliersville area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.

Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Colliersville area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school 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, clearly it would not be the right school for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of Colliersville area dental schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Colliersville dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the New York schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 13747 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Colliersville at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical 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 issues.

Select the Right Dental College near Colliersville NY

Choosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount 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 generally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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