Accredited Dental Assistant Training | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Great Neck NY 11020

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Great Neck 11020

dental assistant training in Great Neck NYPicking the right dental assistant program near Great Neck NY is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as 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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.

The Function of a Dental Assistant

Great Neck dental assistant helping dentist 11020Dental assistants are an integral part of any Great Neck dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of New York dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of 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 Function of Dental Hygienists

Great Neck dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the duties of a Great Neck dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably 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 New York practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Instructing 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 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 licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 available at New York community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Great Neck area dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Great Neck homeSelecting an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Great Neck home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal option for you.

Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 11020After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Great Neck area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the New York colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental program for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several 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 prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Great Neck area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.

Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, most Great Neck area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many Great Neck area dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Great Neck 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 also.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools require help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classes Small? Find out from the New York programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 11020 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Great Neck in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Dental Program near Great Neck NY

Picking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your education 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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