How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Oak Grove 48863
Selecting the right dental hygienist training near Oak Grove MI is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months 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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Oak Grove dental office and can undertake 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 working successfully. A number of Michigan dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a Oak Grove dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Michigan practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Michigan junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are often 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 almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Oak Grove area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist school can be a viable option for obtaining 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 remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Oak Grove home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental online college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Oak Grove area programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Michigan schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are going 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 ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Oak Grove area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Oak Grove area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of Oak Grove area dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Oak Grove dental practice. They help 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 Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher 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 employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Michigan programs you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 48863 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Oak Grove in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Select the Ideal Dental Program near Oak Grove MIEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period 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 typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.