How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Flemingsburg 41041
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Flemingsburg KY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the school’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 normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Flemingsburg dental office and can perform a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many Kentucky dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many 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
When contrasting the duties of a Flemingsburg dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Kentucky practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Kentucky community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to hold 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 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 component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Flemingsburg area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Flemingsburg home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental online college is the right option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Flemingsburg area schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Kentucky colleges you are looking at 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 school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Flemingsburg area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you decide on has 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. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Flemingsburg area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of Flemingsburg area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want 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 an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Flemingsburg dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the Kentucky programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 41041 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Flemingsburg at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Find the Best Dental Program near Flemingsburg KYChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose 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 in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.