How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Hobbsville 27946
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Hobbsville NC is an essential 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 performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete 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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Hobbsville dental office and can undertake a variety of duties. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some North Carolina dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the North Carolina dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Hobbsville dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the North Carolina practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at North Carolina junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most typical 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 assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Hobbsville area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Hobbsville home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental program is the right option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Hobbsville area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the North Carolina colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hobbsville area employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Hobbsville area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent 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 may 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 best school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many Hobbsville area dental schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Hobbsville dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the North Carolina colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 27946 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Hobbsville in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Dental Program near Hobbsville NCPicking the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.