Accredited Dental Assistant Programs | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Mitchellsburg KY 40452

How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Mitchellsburg 40452

dental assistant training in Mitchellsburg KYSelecting the ideal dental assistant program near Mitchellsburg KY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Role of a Dental Assistant

Mitchellsburg dental assistant helping dentist 40452Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Mitchellsburg dental office and can perform a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of Kentucky dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, including:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists

Mitchellsburg dental hygienist treating patient in KentuckyWhen comparing the role of a Mitchellsburg dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kentucky practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options

Dental assistant programs are offered at Kentucky community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally 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 hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Mitchellsburg area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Classes

attending dental assistant school online in Mitchellsburg homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college might be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Mitchellsburg home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental online college is the right choice for you.

What to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Kentucky dental colleges 40452When you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the process of comparing Mitchellsburg area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Kentucky colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Mitchellsburg area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.

Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Mitchellsburg area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.

Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many Mitchellsburg area dental colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Mitchellsburg dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Kentucky programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 40452 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Mitchellsburg in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Select the Ideal Dental School near Mitchellsburg KY

Selecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available 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 training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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