How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Monroe 03771
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Monroe NH is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Monroe dental practice and can perform a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some New Hampshire dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying 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 differ by state, so check with the New Hampshire dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most 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) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Monroe dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the New Hampshire practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- 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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at New Hampshire community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Monroe area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Monroe home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Monroe area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the New Hampshire colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Monroe area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the college you select 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 earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Monroe area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many Monroe area dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Monroe 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 are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools 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 in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the New Hampshire schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining 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 loans, grants and scholarships in the 03771 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Monroe in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Dental College near Monroe NHPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.