How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Quaker Street 12141
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Quaker Street NY is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as the school’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 depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Quaker Street dental office and can perform a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of New York dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying 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 differ by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a Quaker Street dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the New York practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at New York junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Quaker Street area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant college may be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Quaker Street home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online school is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Quaker Street area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the New York schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental program 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 program. 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 school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Quaker Street area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Quaker Street area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many Quaker Street area dental programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Quaker Street 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the New York colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 12141 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Quaker Street in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Dental School near Quaker Street NYChoosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.