How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Unionville 48767
Picking the ideal dental hygienist training near Unionville MI is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the school’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 commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Unionville dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of Michigan dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing 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
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Unionville dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Michigan practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Michigan community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed 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 almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Unionville area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Unionville home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental program is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Unionville area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Michigan schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Unionville area employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Unionville area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of Unionville area dental programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Unionville dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges 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 community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Michigan colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 48767 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Unionville in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Dental School near Unionville MIPicking the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.