How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Glengary 25421
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist training near Glengary WV is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Glengary dental practice and can perform a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some West Virginia dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Glengary dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the West Virginia practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at West Virginia junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Glengary area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Glengary home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental online college is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Glengary area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the West Virginia colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Glengary area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? 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’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Glengary area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many Glengary area dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Glengary dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs require help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the West Virginia programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer 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 witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 25421 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Glengary in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Find the Ideal Dental College near Glengary WVSelecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain 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 community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.