Accredited Dental Assistant Colleges | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Sedan KS 67361

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Sedan 67361

dental assistant training in Sedan KSChoosing the right dental hygienist program near Sedan KS is an important first step toward starting 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 completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally 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 two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.

The Role of a Dental Assistant

Sedan dental assistant helping dentist 67361Dental assistants are an important component of any Sedan dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some Kansas dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Prepping 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
  • Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering dental and office supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Kansas dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need 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 provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of a Dental Hygienist

Sedan dental hygienist treating patient in KansasWhen comparing the duties of a Sedan dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kansas practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Educating patients regarding oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are provided at Kansas junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Sedan area dentists or dental practices.

Online Dental Schools

attending dental assistant school online in Sedan homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist school may be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Sedan home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental program is the right choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools

Questions to ask Kansas dental colleges 67361After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Sedan area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Kansas colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Sedan area employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you choose 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. In order to work as a hygienist, the majority of Sedan area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the right school for you.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many Sedan area dental programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Sedan dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Kansas colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.

 What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 67361 area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Sedan at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.

Select the Right Dental School near Sedan KS

Picking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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