How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near South Solon 43153
Choosing the right dental hygienist training near South Solon OH is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining 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 normally takes about 12 months 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 complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any South Solon dental practice and can carry out a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of Ohio dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Ohio dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a South Solon dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Ohio practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Ohio community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating 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 generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with South Solon area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your South Solon home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental college is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing South Solon area schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Ohio schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school 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 Solon area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many South Solon area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many South Solon area dental programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real South Solon dental practice. They make it easier for 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Ohio programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks 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 aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 43153 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near South Solon at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need 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.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental School near South Solon OHSelecting the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.