Top Dental Assistant Colleges | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Blauvelt NY 10913

How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Blauvelt 10913

dental assistant training in Blauvelt NYChoosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Blauvelt NY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.

The Role of Dental Assistants

Blauvelt dental assistant helping dentist 10913Dental assistants are an integral part of any Blauvelt dental practice and can perform a multitude of duties. Their main job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of New York dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, including:

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

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists

Blauvelt dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the duties of a Blauvelt dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. 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 sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each 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 stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in almost 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. Once 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 Hygienist & Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant programs are provided at New York community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Blauvelt area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Schools

attending dental assistant school online in Blauvelt homeSelecting an online dental hygienist or assistant college may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Blauvelt home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the right choice for you.

Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 10913When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Blauvelt area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the New York schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental school for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Blauvelt area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.

Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the school you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, many Blauvelt area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many Blauvelt area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Blauvelt 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 Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs 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 refer their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Small? Find out from the New York colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 10913 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, 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 have to go to classes near Blauvelt in the evenings 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 procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.

Find the Ideal Dental College near Blauvelt NY

Selecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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