How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Seabrook 03874
Picking the ideal dental assistant training near Seabrook NH is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including 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 have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Seabrook dental office and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their main job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some New Hampshire dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the New Hampshire dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a Seabrook dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the New Hampshire 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 gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at New Hampshire junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Seabrook area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist college can be a viable option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Seabrook home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Seabrook area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the New Hampshire schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Seabrook area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the school you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Seabrook area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many Seabrook area dental schools 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 provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Seabrook dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher 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 employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the New Hampshire programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 03874 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Seabrook in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Dental Program near Seabrook NHChoosing the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.