How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Granville 61326
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Granville IL is an important 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges 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 Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Granville dental practice and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Illinois dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Illinois dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a Granville dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Illinois practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Illinois junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of 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 take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Granville area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Granville home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Granville area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Illinois schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Granville area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, many Granville area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent 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 just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many Granville area dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want 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 regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Granville dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help landing 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 probably have excellent 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? Find out from the Illinois schools you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent 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 public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 61326 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify 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 must go to classes near Granville in the evenings 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 protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Dental Program near Granville ILChoosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.