Accredited Dental Assistant Schools | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Limerick NY 13657

How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Limerick 13657

dental assistant training in Limerick NYChoosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Limerick NY is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually 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 considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Function of a Dental Assistant

Limerick dental assistant helping dentist 13657Dental assistants are an important component of any Limerick dental practice and can perform a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of New York dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:

  • Setting and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of Dental Hygienists

Limerick dental hygienist treating patient in New YorkWhen comparing the role of a Limerick dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the New York practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Instructing patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Removing sutures and applying fillings

In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. 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 & Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant programs are available at New York junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Limerick area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Training

attending dental assistant school online in Limerick homeEnrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Limerick home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the right option for you.

Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs

Questions to ask New York dental colleges 13657After you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the process of comparing Limerick area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the New York schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Limerick area employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available 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 confirm 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. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many Limerick area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of Limerick area dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Limerick dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools require help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the New York programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance 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 costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 13657 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Limerick in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Select the Ideal Dental School near Limerick NY

Picking the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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