Accredited Dental Hygienist Colleges | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Ansonia CT 06401

How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Ansonia 06401

dental assistant training in Ansonia CTChoosing the ideal dental assistant program near Ansonia CT is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the program’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 are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Ansonia dental assistant helping dentist 06401Dental assistants are an integral component of any Ansonia dental office and can perform a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many Connecticut dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Ansonia dental hygienist treating patient in ConnecticutWhen contrasting the duties of a Ansonia dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Connecticut practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensure 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 Hygienist and Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant courses are offered at Connecticut community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally 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 virtually 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 practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Ansonia area dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Training

attending dental assistant school online in Ansonia homeSelecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Ansonia home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental college is the right choice for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools

Questions to ask Connecticut dental colleges 06401Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Ansonia area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening 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 alternatives also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Connecticut colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental program for you.

Is the Dental School 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 certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Ansonia area employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.

Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, most Ansonia area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and 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 just interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many Ansonia area dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.

Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Ansonia dental practice. They make it easier for 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 also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance 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 Classes Smaller? Find out from the Connecticut colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training 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 come into play. But along with 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 06401 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Ansonia at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Enroll in the Best Dental Program near Ansonia CT

Enrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally 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 usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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