How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Warren 04864
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Warren ME is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties 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 generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, 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 expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Warren dental office and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many Maine dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Maine dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Warren dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Maine practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one 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 present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Maine community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Warren area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Warren home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental online college is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Warren area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Maine colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Warren area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the school you select 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 work as a hygienist, many Warren area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of Warren area dental schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested 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 schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Warren dental practice. They help 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 Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Maine schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 04864 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Warren at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required 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 Ideal Dental Program near Warren MEEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course 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 alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to 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 in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.