How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Glenwood 84730
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Glenwood UT is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges 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 offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Glenwood dental practice and can carry out a myriad of duties. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of Utah dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Utah dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Glenwood dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Utah practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching 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 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 fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Utah community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Glenwood area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember 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 via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Glenwood home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental school is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Glenwood area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Utah schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Glenwood area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, most Glenwood area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 strong accredited dental assistant program, but may 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 Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many Glenwood area dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Glenwood dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Utah programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to 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 witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 84730 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Glenwood at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Dental Program near Glenwood UTSelecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.