How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Mohawk 49950
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Mohawk MI is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Mohawk dental office and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some Michigan dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a Mohawk dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Michigan practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Michigan community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional 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 two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in vocational 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 offer internships with Mohawk area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant program may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Mohawk home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added 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 clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Mohawk area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Michigan colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Mohawk area employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many Mohawk area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of Mohawk area dental programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Mohawk 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Michigan colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 49950 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Mohawk at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Select the Ideal Dental College near Mohawk MIChoosing the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.