Accredited Dental Assistant Training | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Millinocket ME 04462

How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Millinocket 04462

dental assistant training in Millinocket MEPicking the ideal dental hygienist college near Millinocket ME is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns 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 duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Millinocket dental assistant helping dentist 04462Dental assistants are an integral component of any Millinocket dental practice and can carry out a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of Maine dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, such as:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Maine dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling 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) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of a Dental Hygienist

Millinocket dental hygienist treating patient in MaineWhen contrasting the job of a Millinocket dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Maine practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

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

In order to be licensed in almost 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 licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered 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 Maine community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to hold 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 pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Millinocket area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Millinocket homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist school may be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember 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 accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Millinocket home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental college is the ideal option for you.

Issues to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs

Questions to ask Maine dental colleges 04462After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Millinocket area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Maine programs you are looking at 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 ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Millinocket area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.

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 select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Millinocket 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 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 only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of Millinocket area dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Millinocket 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 too.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are Classes Small? Find out from the Maine schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 04462 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Millinocket 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Pick the Right Dental School near Millinocket ME

Selecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your training 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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