How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Kendall 67857
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Kendall KS is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance 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 be contingent 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. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Kendall dental office and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of Kansas dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Kansas dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Kendall dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Kansas practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Kansas junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Kendall area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist school can be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember 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 personal computer in the comfort of your Kendall home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Kendall area programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Kansas schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Kendall area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Kendall area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as 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 could 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 right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of Kendall area dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Kendall dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many 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. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Kansas colleges you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 67857 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Kendall in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have 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 emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Dental Program near Kendall KSChoosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate 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 better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.