How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Hudson 03051
Picking the right dental assistant program near Hudson NH is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 have to commit. 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 complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs 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 offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Hudson dental practice and can undertake a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some New Hampshire dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New Hampshire dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Hudson dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the New Hampshire practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at New Hampshire junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Hudson area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Hudson home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Hudson area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the New Hampshire programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hudson area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the college you decide on 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 have a career as a hygienist, many Hudson area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might 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 best college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many Hudson area dental programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Hudson 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 are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the New Hampshire colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 03051 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Hudson in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Dental School near Hudson NHEnrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. 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 choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.