How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Cordesville 29434
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Cordesville SC is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Cordesville dental practice and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some South Carolina dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing 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 consult with the South Carolina dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Cordesville dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the South Carolina practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at South Carolina community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally required to hold 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 trade 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. Many programs also sponsor internships with Cordesville area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Cordesville home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental online school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Cordesville area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the South Carolina 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 ultimate selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Cordesville area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you decide on 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 earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Cordesville area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many Cordesville area dental programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an 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 practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Cordesville dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the South Carolina colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 29434 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm 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 need to go to classes near Cordesville at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Dental School near Cordesville SCChoosing the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive 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 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose 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 assistant or hygienist.