How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Jewett City 06351
Choosing the ideal dental assistant college near Jewett City CT is an essential initial step toward beginning 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 training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Jewett City dental practice and can undertake a variety of duties. Their primary 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 Connecticut dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need 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) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Jewett City dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Connecticut practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing 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 Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Connecticut community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are usually 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 almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Jewett City area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Jewett City home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community 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 method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental online school is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Jewett City area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Connecticut colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Jewett City 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, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, the majority of Jewett City 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 a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most Jewett City area dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Jewett City dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Connecticut programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 06351 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Jewett City at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental School near Jewett City CTSelecting the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.