How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program near Gustavus Alaska
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Gustavus AK is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Gustavus AK dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Gustavus AK practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alaska junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Gustavus AK dental practices are usually 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Gustavus AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Gustavus AK area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Gustavus AK frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alaska programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alaska college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Gustavus AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Gustavus AK area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Gustavus AK 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 too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Gustavus AK dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Gustavus AK area programs you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Gustavus AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Gustavus AK home at nights 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 procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What compelled you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Gustavus AK
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Gustavus AK.
Tell Me About Gustavus Alaska
Gustavus, formerly known as "Strawberry Point", lies on the outwash plain created by the glaciers that once filled Glacier Bay. Two hundred years ago, it was primarily a single large "beach". The native Tlingit people and others used the area for fishing, berry picking, and other similar uses. The town itself is less than one hundred years old. The first settlers arrived in 1914, but left shortly afterward. The first permanent homestead was established in 1917, when Abraham Lincoln Parker moved his family to Strawberry Point. Many Gustavus residents are descendants and relatives of the original Parker homesteaders.
In 1925 the name became "Gustavus", when the U.S. Post Office required a change for its new post office, although locals continued calling it "Strawberry Point" long afterwards. The new name came from Point Gustavus at the mouth of Glacier Bay.
In 1793 George Vancouver named Point Adolphus (at the northern tip of Chichagof Island, and today a well-known humpback whale feeding area) after Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of King George III. In 1878, W.H. Dall, while working on a coastal survey, saw "Adolphus" on the map and assumed it was for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The point across Icy Strait from Point Adolphus at the mouth of Glacier Bay was not named on the map, so Dall called it "Gustavus". Another possibility is that Dall named Gustavus for Gustavus C. Hanus, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who had extensive experience throughout southeast Alaska, and both Dall and Hanus served with the Coast Survey in Alaska. Hanus laid out the first streets in Juneau and helped quell the trouble in Klukwan in 1881.
There is still a large beach at Gustavus, with many strawberries. The city is surrounded on three sides by Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and on the fourth side by water. The area is a temperate rain forest; spruce and hemlock trees reach heights of 60 metres (200 ft), and alders, balsam poplar, fern, mosses, fireweed, lupine, and other plants are also common. Gustavus's coastal location gives it a relatively mild winter. Summer temperatures range from 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F); winter temperatures from −3 to 4 °C (27 to 39 °F).
Additional Alaska Cities of Interest
Gustavus AK Dental Schools - BingNews Search results
Mom loses bid for maskless kids
A Manitoba judge has rejected a mother’s request for a court injunction to allow two of her children to attend school without wearing masks ... psychological, dental and personal reasons that are of a ...
Paramedics to act as substitute school nurses if needed during pandemic
Rogers, AK (KFSM) — The Rogers City Council and Rogers School District officials came to an informal agreement last week to allow Rogers Fire Department paramedics to act as substitute school ...
Dentist In Anchorage Helps Patients Maintain Bright Smiles
Anchorage, AK, residents in search of a dentist can find the dental care they need at Healthy Smiles Dental. The dental care center offers a variety of procedures aimed at helping patients improve ...
Beilue: Five of a kind
He was in Korea and Vietnam, and seven stops stateside, including Alaska, Hawaii and the Pentagon ... Rick graduated from Lawton Eisenhower High School in 1982. He wanted to pursue a medical or dental ...
Pre-Professional Health Advising
The third and fourth years are spent in clinical sites throughout the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska ... dental contract program for certified Wyoming residents with the University of ...
Anchorage dentist who defrauded Medicaid and extracted patient tooth while riding hoverboard sentenced to prison
Lookhart was found guilty by a jury in January on 46 charges including Medicaid fraud, embezzlement, reckless endangerment and unlawful dental acts. He formerly worked at Alaska Dental Arts in ...
Hoverboard-Riding Dentist, Found Guilty of Fraud, Is Sentenced to 12 Years
In their case against Seth Lookhart, Alaska prosecutors included video of the dentist on a hoverboard and pulling a tooth. Mr. Lookhart was convicted in January of fraud, unlawful dental acts and ...
Madison County nonprofit changes lives for the better everyday
You know all about HEALS, Inc. and the impact the nonprofit clinic makes by providing dental and medical services ... they deliver glasses to kids at both schools. Henderson says delivery is ...
‘The Dental Clinic’ needs your vote to get 25K State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant
dental hygienists, or other medical practitioners before children can be enrolled in school. The Dental Clinic will partner with head start programs, elementary schools, and other non-profit ...
Long-distance running meets socially distanced competition
[It’s a 2-candidate race for District 1] “I actually came here from Gustavus for high school,” Lentfer said in a phone interview. “I’d done running for Gustavus in middle school and I ...