How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Sharpsburg 40374
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Sharpsburg KY 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 choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Sharpsburg dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of Kentucky dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Sharpsburg 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 in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Kentucky practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Kentucky junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one 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 courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to have 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Sharpsburg area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind 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 available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Sharpsburg home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental program is the best option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Sharpsburg area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Kentucky colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are planning 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 school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Sharpsburg area employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, most Sharpsburg area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college 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, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of Sharpsburg area dental programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Sharpsburg dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene programs require assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Kentucky colleges you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 40374 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Sharpsburg in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Select the Right Dental Program near Sharpsburg KYPicking the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.