How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Fenwick 48834
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near Fenwick MI is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Fenwick dental office and can carry out a multitude 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 working efficiently. Some Michigan dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need 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 offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Fenwick dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Michigan practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Michigan community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to hold 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 almost every state. They are also offered in vocational 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 also. Many programs also offer internships with Fenwick area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist school may be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Fenwick home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental college is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Fenwick area programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Michigan colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fenwick area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college 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. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, many Fenwick area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good reputation and 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most Fenwick area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Fenwick dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Michigan colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs 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, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 48834 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Fenwick in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Select the Ideal Dental School near Fenwick MIEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your training 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 community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.