How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Clarington 43915
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Clarington OH is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two 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 common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Clarington dental practice and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many Ohio dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Ohio dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a Clarington dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Ohio practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Ohio community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Clarington area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a great option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Clarington home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental school is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Clarington area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Ohio programs you are comparing in order to make 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 best dental school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Clarington area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Clarington area dental offices 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 as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many Clarington area dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Clarington dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs require help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Ohio programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to 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 programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 43915 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify 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 must attend classes near Clarington at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Ideal Dental College near Clarington OHEnrolling in the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior 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 practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.