How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Redding Center 06875
Picking the right dental hygienist training near Redding Center CT is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally 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 talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Redding Center dental practice and can undertake a variety of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of Connecticut dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Redding Center dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Connecticut practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Connecticut community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are usually 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. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Redding Center area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Redding Center home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental online program is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Redding Center area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Connecticut colleges you are reviewing 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 best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Redding Center area employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you select 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 earn a living as a hygienist, most Redding Center area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most Redding Center area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college 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, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Redding Center dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges require assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs 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 Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Connecticut colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large 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 leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 06875 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Redding Center at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Find the Best Dental Program near Redding Center CTChoosing the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.