Top Dental Hygienist Schools | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Bethpage NY 11714

How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Bethpage 11714

dental assistant training in Bethpage NYPicking the ideal dental assistant training near Bethpage NY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore 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 Job of a Dental Assistant

Bethpage dental assistant helping dentist 11714Dental assistants are an essential component of any Bethpage dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some New York dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, for example:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

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

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Bethpage dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the job of a Bethpage dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier 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 initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

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

To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant courses are available at New York community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of 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 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. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Bethpage area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Classes

attending dental assistant school online in Bethpage homeEnrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant school may be a viable option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Bethpage home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental program is the right option for you.

Points to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 11714After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Bethpage area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the New York programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental program for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Bethpage area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.

Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Bethpage area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many Bethpage area dental programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Bethpage 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 are attractive on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the New York schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask 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 instructors and students before enrolling.

 What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 11714 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Bethpage in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required 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 due to work, illness or family issues.

Select the Ideal Dental Program near Bethpage NY

Choosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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