Find Dental Hygienist Programs | How to Become a Dental Assistant near East Granby CT 06026

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near East Granby 06026

dental assistant training in East Granby CTPicking the right dental hygienist school near East Granby CT is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Job of a Dental Assistant

East Granby dental assistant helping dentist 06026Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any East Granby dental office and can undertake a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some Connecticut dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, for example:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of Dental Hygienists

East Granby dental hygienist treating patient in ConnecticutWhen comparing the duties of a East Granby dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly 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 assisting the Connecticut practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

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

To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. When 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 Training Options

Dental assistant programs are offered at Connecticut community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally 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 almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with East Granby area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Classes

attending dental assistant school online in East Granby homeChoosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program may be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your East Granby home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online school is the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges

Questions to ask Connecticut dental colleges 06026After you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the process of comparing East Granby area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Connecticut schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. East Granby area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.

Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, a large number of East Granby area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may 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 ideal college for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of East Granby area dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides enough 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, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real East Granby dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Connecticut schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 06026 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near East Granby at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.

Pick the Best Dental College near East Granby CT

Enrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically 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 normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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