Accredited Dental Assistant Colleges | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Centuria WI 54824

How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Centuria 54824

dental assistant training in Centuria WIPicking the right dental hygienist school near Centuria WI is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Job of Dental Assistants

Centuria dental assistant helping dentist 54824Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Centuria dental office and can undertake a variety of functions. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Wisconsin dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:

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

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

The Duties of a Dental Hygienist

Centuria dental hygienist treating patient in WisconsinWhen contrasting the job of a Centuria dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Wisconsin practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:

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

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

Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options

Dental assistant courses are offered at Wisconsin junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive 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 practices are normally 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 almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Centuria area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Centuria homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a good option 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 rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Centuria home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Wisconsin dental colleges 54824Once you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Centuria area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Wisconsin schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental college for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, 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 establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Centuria area employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Centuria area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most Centuria area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Centuria dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs need help getting 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 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 Small? Find out from the Wisconsin schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs 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 programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 54824 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Centuria in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Select the Right Dental Program near Centuria WI

Selecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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