How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Navarre 44662
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Navarre OH is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program 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 two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally 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 finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Navarre dental office and can perform a variety of functions. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many Ohio dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying 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 vary by state, so check with the Ohio dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a Navarre dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Ohio practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Ohio junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally 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 added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to hold 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 pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Navarre area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Navarre home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical 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 receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Navarre area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Ohio colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, 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. Navarre area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the school you decide on has 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. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Navarre area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most Navarre area dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Navarre dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Ohio programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 44662 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Navarre in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Select the Right Dental Program near Navarre OHEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial 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 available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior 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 approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.