Accredited Dental Assistant Schools | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Auburndale FL 33823

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Auburndale 33823

dental assistant training in Auburndale FLSelecting the ideal dental assistant training near Auburndale FL is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Job of a Dental Assistant

Auburndale dental assistant helping dentist 33823Dental assistants are an important component of any Auburndale dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some Florida dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:

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

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Florida dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists

Auburndale dental hygienist treating patient in FloridaWhen contrasting the duties of a Auburndale dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Florida practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Instructing patients regarding oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options

Dental assistant courses are offered at Florida junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained 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. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are generally required to hold 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 almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Auburndale area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Auburndale homeEnrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant college might be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Auburndale home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the best choice for you.

What to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Florida dental colleges 33823Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Auburndale area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Florida schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Auburndale area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you select has 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, many Auburndale area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of Auburndale area dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important 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, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Auburndale dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Florida colleges you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 33823 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Auburndale 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 procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Select the Best Dental College near Auburndale FL

Choosing the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically 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 roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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