How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Keene Valley 12943
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Keene Valley NY is an essential initial step toward beginning 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 doing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Keene Valley dental office and can undertake a variety of functions. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many New York dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing 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 policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a Keene Valley dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the New York practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at New York community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are usually 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Keene Valley area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Keene Valley home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice 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 dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental online college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Keene Valley area programs and schools. 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. Maybe they search for several online options also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the New York programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Keene Valley area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Keene Valley area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of Keene Valley area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides adequate 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, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Keene Valley dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the New York schools you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 12943 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Keene Valley in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Select the Right Dental College near Keene Valley NYEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.