Search For Dental Assistant Colleges | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Highland Mills NY 10930

How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Highland Mills 10930

dental assistant training in Highland Mills NYPicking the right dental assistant program near Highland Mills NY is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete 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 accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental 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 provided.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Highland Mills dental assistant helping dentist 10930Dental assistants are an essential part of any Highland Mills dental practice and can perform a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of New York dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, 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
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of a Dental Hygienist

Highland Mills dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the job of a Highland Mills dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. 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 encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients about oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant courses are provided at New York community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are generally required to hold 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 virtually 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 aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Highland Mills area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Training

attending dental assistant school online in Highland Mills homeEnrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant college may be a great alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Highland Mills home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 10930When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Highland Mills area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the New York colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental program for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school 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. Highland Mills area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.

Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Highland Mills area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many Highland Mills area dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient 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, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Highland Mills dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the New York schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 10930 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Highland Mills at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Pick the Right Dental College near Highland Mills NY

Enrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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