How to Select a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Brooklyn 36429
Selecting the right dental assistant college near Brooklyn AL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, 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 explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Brooklyn dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of Alabama dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a Brooklyn dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Alabama practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first 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 may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing 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 Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Brooklyn area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally 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 convenience of your Brooklyn home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online college is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Brooklyn area schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Alabama colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Brooklyn area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college you select has 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 work as a hygienist, the majority of Brooklyn area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could 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 ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most Brooklyn area dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Brooklyn dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Alabama schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 36429 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Brooklyn in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Dental Program near Brooklyn ALSelecting the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.