Find Dental Assistant Colleges | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Greenwood Lake NY 10925

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Greenwood Lake 10925

dental assistant training in Greenwood Lake NYSelecting the right dental hygienist training near Greenwood Lake NY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Function of Dental Assistants

Greenwood Lake dental assistant helping dentist 10925Dental assistants are an important part of any Greenwood Lake dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many New York dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Purchasing dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Greenwood Lake dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen contrasting the job of a Greenwood Lake dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the New York practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients about oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • 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 examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are provided at New York community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices 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 almost every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Greenwood Lake area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Classes

attending dental assistant school online in Greenwood Lake homeEnrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant program may be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program 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 comfort of your Greenwood Lake home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office 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 discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental online school is the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 10925When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Greenwood Lake area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the New York colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental program for you.

Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Greenwood Lake area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.

Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, many Greenwood Lake area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear 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 school may have a strong 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, naturally it would not be the right college for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most Greenwood Lake area dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Greenwood Lake dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at 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 in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the New York schools you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 10925 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Greenwood Lake at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Enroll in the Ideal Dental Program near Greenwood Lake NY

Picking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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