How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Elizabethtown 12932
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Elizabethtown NY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 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 one year 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 complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Elizabethtown dental practice and can undertake a variety of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some New York dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying 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 New York dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling 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 provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a Elizabethtown 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 in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the New York practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically 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 duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at New York junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Elizabethtown area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant school may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember 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 available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Elizabethtown home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Elizabethtown area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the New York programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Elizabethtown area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide 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 alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Elizabethtown area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many Elizabethtown area dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested 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 care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Elizabethtown dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the New York schools you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent 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 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 12932 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Elizabethtown at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical 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 responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Dental School near Elizabethtown NYPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally 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 on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.