How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Olin 28660
Choosing the ideal dental assistant training near Olin NC is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually 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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Olin dental office and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of North Carolina dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the North Carolina dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Olin dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the North Carolina practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at North Carolina junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Olin area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Olin home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting 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 online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Olin area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the North Carolina schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college 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. Olin area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Olin area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid 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 ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most Olin area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Olin dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs 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 profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the North Carolina schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 28660 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Olin 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 protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Best Dental Program near Olin NCPicking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools typically 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 approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.