Accredited Dental Assistant Training | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Henderson KY 42419

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Henderson 42419

dental assistant training in Henderson KYSelecting the right dental hygienist college near Henderson KY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.

The Function of Dental Assistants

Henderson dental assistant helping dentist 42419Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Henderson dental practice and can perform a myriad of duties. Their principal 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 Kentucky dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Duties of Dental Hygienists

Henderson dental hygienist treating patient in KentuckyWhen contrasting the duties of a Henderson dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kentucky practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Instructing patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant courses are offered at Kentucky community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Henderson area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Classes

attending dental assistant school online in Henderson homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist school can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Henderson home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental school is the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Kentucky dental colleges 42419Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Henderson area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Kentucky programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Henderson area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.

Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you choose 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, a large number of Henderson area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.

Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of Henderson area dental programs have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Henderson 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 Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing 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 position their students for internships or employment.

Are Classes Small? Check with the Kentucky programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 42419 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Henderson at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Select the Best Dental School near Henderson KY

Enrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive 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 two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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