Top Dental Hygienist Programs | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Floral Park NY 11001

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Floral Park 11001

dental assistant training in Floral Park NYSelecting the ideal dental assistant program near Floral Park NY is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually 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. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Floral Park dental assistant helping dentist 11001Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Floral Park dental office and can perform a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some New York dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:

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

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Job of Dental Hygienists

Floral Park dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the role of a Floral Park dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably 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 New York practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients about oral care
  • 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options

Dental assistant programs are available at New York junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Floral Park area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Training

attending dental assistant school online in Floral Park homeEnrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Floral Park home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for 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 online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an dental online college is the best choice for you.

Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 11001When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Floral Park area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the New York programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental school for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college 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. Floral Park area employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.

Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Floral Park area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could 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 best school for you.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many Floral Park area dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Floral Park dental practice. They help 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 as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the New York schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 11001 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Floral Park at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Choose the Ideal Dental Program near Floral Park NY

Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided 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.

 

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