How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Glennie 48737
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Glennie MI is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Glennie dental practice and can carry out a variety of duties. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of Michigan dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a Glennie dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Michigan practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 provided at Michigan community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the added responsibility as compared 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Glennie area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Glennie home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental program is the ideal option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Glennie area programs and schools. 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 colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Michigan colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glennie area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Glennie area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of Glennie area dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Glennie dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Michigan schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 48737 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Glennie at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Dental College near Glennie MISelecting the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your training 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.