Top Dental Hygienist Colleges | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Reidsville NC 27320

How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Reidsville 27320

dental assistant training in Reidsville NCChoosing the ideal dental assistant training near Reidsville NC is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Duties of Dental Assistants

Reidsville dental assistant helping dentist 27320Dental assistants are an integral component of any Reidsville dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some North Carolina dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:

  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the North Carolina dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Job of a Dental Hygienist

Reidsville dental hygienist treating patient in North CarolinaWhen contrasting the duties of a Reidsville dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the North Carolina 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 room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. When 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 and Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are provided at North Carolina junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Reidsville area dentists or dental practices.

Dental Online Training

attending dental assistant school online in Reidsville homeSelecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Reidsville home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental program is the right option for you.

Points to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools

Questions to ask North Carolina dental colleges 27320Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Reidsville area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the North Carolina colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at 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 College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Reidsville area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Reidsville area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.

Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many Reidsville area dental programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Reidsville 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 look good on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the North Carolina colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask 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 amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 27320 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Reidsville in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.

Find the Ideal Dental Program near Reidsville NC

Selecting the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree 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 right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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