Accredited Dental Assistant Programs | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Jamestown OH 45335

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Jamestown 45335

dental assistant training in Jamestown OHSelecting the ideal dental hygienist training near Jamestown OH is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Jamestown dental assistant helping dentist 45335Dental assistants are an integral part of any Jamestown dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some Ohio dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, including:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Ohio dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of a Dental Hygienist

Jamestown dental hygienist treating patient in OhioWhen comparing the job of a Jamestown dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Ohio practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Instructing 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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options

Dental assistant courses are available at Ohio junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to hold 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Jamestown area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Colleges

attending dental assistant school online in Jamestown homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Jamestown home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Ohio dental colleges 45335When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Jamestown area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Ohio programs you are reviewing 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 ideal dental college for you.

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

Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the school you choose has 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. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Jamestown area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid 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, clearly it would not be the best school for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of Jamestown area dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish 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 subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Jamestown 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 look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Ohio programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 45335 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Jamestown in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required 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 because of illness, work or family issues.

Pick the Best Dental College near Jamestown OH

Selecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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