How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Scotts 49088
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Scotts MI is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Scotts dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many Michigan dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a Scotts 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 practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Michigan practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Michigan junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are often 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Scotts area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Scotts home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental online school is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Scotts area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Michigan colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence 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 enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Scotts area employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the school you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, most Scotts area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional 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, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many Scotts area dental schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Scotts dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Michigan schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can vary in cost dependent 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 49088 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Scotts at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Dental School near Scotts MIChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. 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 usually require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.