Accredited Dental Hygienist Training | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Courtland KS 66939

How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Courtland 66939

dental assistant training in Courtland KSPicking the ideal dental hygienist training near Courtland KS is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Function of a Dental Assistant

Courtland dental assistant helping dentist 66939Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Courtland dental practice and can perform a variety of duties. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of Kansas dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Kansas dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Job of Dental Hygienists

Courtland dental hygienist treating patient in KansasWhen comparing the job of a Courtland dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest 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 supporting the Kansas practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties 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 almost 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 exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as 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 available at Kansas community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Courtland area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Training

attending dental assistant school online in Courtland homeEnrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Courtland 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 have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed 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 provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.

Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs

Questions to ask Kansas dental colleges 66939Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Courtland area programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Kansas programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Courtland area employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.

Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the school you select 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, most Courtland area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college 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 primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of Courtland area dental programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Courtland dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Kansas programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 66939 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Courtland at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Find the Best Dental School near Courtland KS

Selecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 generally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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