Top Dental Hygienist Colleges | How to Become a Dental Assistant near West Kill NY 12492

How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near West Kill 12492

dental assistant training in West Kill NYPicking the right dental assistant training near West Kill NY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.

The Role of a Dental Assistant

West Kill dental assistant helping dentist 12492Dental assistants are an essential component of any West Kill dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many New York dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of Dental Hygienists

West Kill dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the role of a West Kill dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the New York practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out 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
  • Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant programs are available at New York community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 offer internships with West Kill area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Colleges

attending dental assistant school online in West Kill homeChoosing an online dental hygienist or assistant college might be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your West Kill home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.

What to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 12492When you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing West Kill area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the New York programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental college for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. West Kill area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.

Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many West Kill area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and 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, clearly it would not be the right school for you.

Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many West Kill area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides enough 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, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real West Kill 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 too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs 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 position their students for employment or internships.

Are Classrooms Small? Check with the New York colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 12492 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near West Kill 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Pick the Ideal Dental College near West Kill NY

Selecting the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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