How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Pearl River 10965
Picking the right dental assistant training near Pearl River NY is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Pearl River dental office and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many New York dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a Pearl River dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly 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 New York practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at New York community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to hold 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 nearly 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. Some programs also sponsor internships with Pearl River area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Pearl River home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Pearl River area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the New York schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Pearl River area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Pearl River area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most Pearl River area dental colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Pearl River dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the New York schools you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out 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 level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 10965 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Pearl River 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Right Dental Program near Pearl River NYEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.