Top Dental Hygienist Programs | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Old Westbury NY 11568

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Old Westbury 11568

dental assistant training in Old Westbury NYChoosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Old Westbury NY is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Job of a Dental Assistant

Old Westbury dental assistant helping dentist 11568Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Old Westbury dental office and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some New York dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Purchasing dental and office supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many 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 Job of a Dental Hygienist

Old Westbury dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the job of a Old Westbury dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the New York practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant programs are provided at New York junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Old Westbury area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Old Westbury homeSelecting an online dental hygienist or assistant program can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Old Westbury home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an online dental college is the best option for you.

Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 11568Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Old Westbury area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the New York schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental college for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Old Westbury area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Old Westbury area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 may 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 ideal college for you.

Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many Old Westbury 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 college you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Old Westbury 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 too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classes Small? Find out from the New York colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private 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 comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 11568 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Old Westbury at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Pick the Ideal Dental College near Old Westbury NY

Selecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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