How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Lamont 49430
Picking the right dental assistant school near Lamont MI is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at 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
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Lamont dental practice and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many Michigan dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Michigan 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 choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Lamont dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Michigan practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Michigan junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Lamont area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a viable option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lamont home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental school is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Lamont area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Michigan colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Lamont 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, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, most Lamont area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent 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, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of Lamont area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Lamont 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 Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching 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 profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Michigan schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 49430 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Lamont at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in 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 have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental College near Lamont MIPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.