How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Dorton 41520
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Dorton KY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Dorton dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Kentucky dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a Dorton dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Kentucky practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Kentucky junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Dorton area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist college may be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Dorton home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. 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 necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental online program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing Dorton area programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Kentucky schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, 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. Dorton area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Dorton area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most Dorton area dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Dorton dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Kentucky colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger 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 leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 41520 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Dorton in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Dental College near Dorton KYSelecting the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively 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 schools usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.