How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Glen Cove 04846
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Glen Cove ME is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties 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 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Glen Cove dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of Maine dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Maine dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a Glen Cove dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Maine practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform 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
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Maine community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the added 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 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Glen Cove area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Glen Cove home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Glen Cove area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Maine schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Glen Cove area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the college 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. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Glen Cove area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of Glen Cove area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Glen Cove dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs 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 Small? Check with the Maine colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to 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 dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 04846 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Glen Cove in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Dental College near Glen Cove MEChoosing the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.