How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Regina 41559
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near Regina KY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive 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 reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Regina dental practice and can carry out a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some Kentucky dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing 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 Kentucky dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Regina dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kentucky practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Kentucky community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally 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 sponsor internships with Regina area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist school might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Regina home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically 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 discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental online program is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Regina area schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Kentucky schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Regina area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, the majority of Regina area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because 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 strong 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, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of Regina area dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Regina dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Kentucky schools you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 41559 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Regina in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Dental College near Regina KYSelecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend 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 better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.