How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Croydon 84018
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Croydon UT is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Croydon 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. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many Utah dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Utah dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide 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 comparing the job of a Croydon 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 assisting the Utah practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. 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 can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Utah junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Croydon area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program may 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 clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Croydon home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Croydon area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Utah schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Croydon area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the school you choose offers 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. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Croydon area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid 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, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most Croydon area dental schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Croydon dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Utah programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 84018 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Croydon at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Dental Program near Croydon UTSelecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. 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 asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.