How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Slate Hill 10973
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Slate Hill NY is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Slate Hill dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some New York dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Slate Hill dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly 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 assisting the New York practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at New York junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Slate Hill area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a great option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Slate Hill 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 costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Slate Hill area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the New York colleges you are looking at 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 Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Slate Hill area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you decide on 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 earn a living as a hygienist, many Slate Hill area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and 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 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 right school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of Slate Hill area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose 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, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Slate Hill dental practice. They make it easier for 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene schools require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the New York colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 10973 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Slate Hill at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Select the Ideal Dental School near Slate Hill NYPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your training 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally 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 generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.