How to Pick a Dental Assistant School near Chandler Arizona
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward beginning 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 selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Chandler AZ dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most 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) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Chandler AZ practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Arizona junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Chandler AZ dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Arizona trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant college might be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Chandler AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Chandler AZ area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. 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 program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Chandler AZ typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Arizona college you select 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 earn a living as a hygienist, many Chandler AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Chandler AZ area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Chandler AZ dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Chandler AZ dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Chandler AZ area schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary 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 come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Chandler AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Chandler AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Chandler AZ
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Chandler AZ.
Tell Me About Chandler Arizona
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Since the early 1990s, the City of Chandler has experienced exponential growth, ranking among the fastest-growing municipalities in the country. Indeed, nearly 100,000 homes dot the landscape today and the population has surged to more than 238,000 residents. The heart of Chandler remains its revitalized historic downtown, which includes the award-winning Chandler City Hall and a Center for the Arts. In 2010, Chandler was named as an All-America City, bestowed by the National Civic League. Chandler was the only Arizona winner for the 61st annual awards. In 2012, the city celebrated its 100th birthday. Centennial events were planned throughout the year.
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