How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Martins Ferry 43935
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Martins Ferry OH is an important 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 performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Martins Ferry dental office and can perform a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many Ohio dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing 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 deviate by state, so consult with the Ohio dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a Martins Ferry dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier 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 frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Ohio community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. 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 offer internships with Martins Ferry area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Martins Ferry home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice 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 discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental school is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Martins Ferry area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Ohio colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Martins Ferry area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the school you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Martins Ferry area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation and 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most Martins Ferry area dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Martins Ferry dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Ohio colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training 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 sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 43935 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Martins Ferry in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Select the Best Dental College near Martins Ferry OHPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly 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 programs normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential 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 by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.