How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Clay City 47841
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Clay City IN is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Clay City dental practice and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many Indiana dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Indiana dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Clay City dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Indiana practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first 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
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Indiana community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in vocational 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. Some programs also sponsor internships with Clay City area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Clay City home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental online program is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Clay City area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Indiana schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Clay City area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Clay City area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many Clay City area dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Clay City dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Indiana programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 47841 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Clay City in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Dental College near Clay City INEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.