How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near South Glastonbury 06073
Choosing the ideal dental assistant college near South Glastonbury CT is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account 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 depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are analyzing 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
Dental assistants are an integral component of any South Glastonbury dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of Connecticut dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying 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 differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a South Glastonbury dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Connecticut practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Connecticut junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often 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 trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with South Glastonbury area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school might be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your South Glastonbury home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental program is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can start the process of comparing South Glastonbury area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Connecticut schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. South Glastonbury area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of South Glastonbury area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. 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 school may have a solid 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 ideal school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many South Glastonbury area dental colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides 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 have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real South Glastonbury dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form 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 colleges require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement 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 extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Connecticut schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 06073 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near South Glastonbury in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Dental College near South Glastonbury CTEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.