How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Hurricane 84737
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program near Hurricane UT is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Hurricane dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many Utah dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Utah dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a Hurricane dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Utah practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once 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 Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Utah community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Hurricane area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hurricane home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental college is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Hurricane area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Utah programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Hurricane area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Hurricane area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation as well as 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most Hurricane area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Hurricane dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Utah colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 84737 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Hurricane 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 practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Dental School near Hurricane UTEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.