How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Greenville 45331
Choosing the ideal dental assistant training near Greenville OH is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Greenville dental office and can perform a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some Ohio dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Ohio dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have 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 Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a Greenville dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Ohio practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Ohio community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Greenville area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant college might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Greenville home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental program is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Greenville area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Ohio colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Greenville area employers often 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 obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, many Greenville 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 each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many Greenville area dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Greenville dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Ohio programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 45331 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Greenville in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Find the Right Dental Program near Greenville OHPicking the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.