How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near New Holstein 53061
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near New Holstein WI is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the programs 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 provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any New Holstein dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of Wisconsin dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Wisconsin dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a New Holstein dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Wisconsin practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present 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
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Wisconsin community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with New Holstein area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your New Holstein home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing New Holstein area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Wisconsin programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. New Holstein area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the school you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, many New Holstein area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most New Holstein area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional New Holstein dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Wisconsin colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 53061 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm 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 need to go to classes near New Holstein in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Ideal Dental School near New Holstein WIPicking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available 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 education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually 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 about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.