How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Fredonia 53021
Picking the right dental assistant training near Fredonia WI is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Fredonia dental office and can perform a multitude of functions. 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. Some Wisconsin dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Wisconsin dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a Fredonia dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main 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 assisting the Wisconsin practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. 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 programs are provided at Wisconsin junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Fredonia area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Training
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a viable 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 balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fredonia home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental online program is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Fredonia area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Wisconsin programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fredonia area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Fredonia area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college 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 Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many Fredonia area dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Fredonia dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Wisconsin colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 53021 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure 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 need to attend classes near Fredonia at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Right Dental Program near Fredonia WIEnrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.