Top Dental Hygienist Programs | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Raccoon KY 41557

How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Raccoon 41557

dental assistant training in Raccoon KYSelecting the ideal dental assistant college near Raccoon KY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.

The Function of Dental Assistants

Raccoon dental assistant helping dentist 41557Dental assistants are an integral component of any Raccoon dental practice and can perform a variety of functions. Their primary job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some Kentucky dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Role of a Dental Hygienist

Raccoon dental hygienist treating patient in KentuckyWhen contrasting the role of a Raccoon dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kentucky practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every 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 may include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Instructing patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • 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 licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 available at Kentucky junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Raccoon area dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Raccoon homeChoosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program can be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Raccoon home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental online program is the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs

Questions to ask Kentucky dental colleges 41557When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Raccoon area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Kentucky programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental program for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Raccoon area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.

Is The Appropriate 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 alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Raccoon area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all 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 primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.

Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many Raccoon area dental schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Raccoon dental practice. They help 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? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Kentucky schools you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 41557 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Raccoon in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Find the Ideal Dental College near Raccoon KY

Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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