How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Dailey 26259
Picking the right dental hygienist training near Dailey WV is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Dailey dental practice and can carry out a multitude 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 operating efficiently. Many West Virginia dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect 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 Dailey dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the West Virginia practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at West Virginia community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Dailey area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Dailey home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have 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 usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental college is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Dailey area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the West Virginia programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Dailey area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Dailey area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of Dailey area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Dailey 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 are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the West Virginia colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 26259 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Dailey at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Dental Program near Dailey WVPicking the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide 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 begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.