How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Newbury Park 91319
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Newbury Park CA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations 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 usually takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Newbury Park dental office and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some California dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the California dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a Newbury Park dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the California practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at California junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have 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 almost every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Newbury Park area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist college may 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 remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Newbury Park home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies 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 needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental online college is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Newbury Park area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the California colleges you are comparing 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 ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Newbury Park area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Newbury Park area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. 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 college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could 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 Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of Newbury Park area dental colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Newbury Park dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the California schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 91319 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Newbury Park at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Dental College near Newbury Park CASelecting the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire your training 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 community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.