Accredited Dental Hygienist Colleges | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Curtiss WI 54422

How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Curtiss 54422

dental assistant training in Curtiss WIPicking the ideal dental hygienist training near Curtiss WI is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.

The Job of Dental Assistants

Curtiss dental assistant helping dentist 54422Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Curtiss dental practice and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some Wisconsin dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Wisconsin dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Curtiss dental hygienist treating patient in WisconsinWhen comparing the role of a Curtiss 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 dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Wisconsin practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also 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
  • Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
  • 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 exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are available at Wisconsin community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three 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 interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Curtiss area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Curtiss homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes 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 Curtiss home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the best option for you.

What to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Wisconsin dental colleges 54422When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Curtiss area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Wisconsin schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished 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 hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Curtiss area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Curtiss area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear 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 may 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 best school for you.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most Curtiss area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college 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, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Curtiss dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job placement 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 extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Wisconsin schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 54422 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Curtiss in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Find the Ideal Dental College near Curtiss WI

Enrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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