How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Lake Havasu City AZ dental practice and can carry out a variety of duties. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying 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 vary by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Lake Havasu City AZ practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Arizona junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lake Havasu City AZ dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Arizona trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Lake Havasu City AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical 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 receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Lake Havasu City AZ area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Lake Havasu City AZ frequently prefer 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 Arizona programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Arizona college you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, a large number of Lake Havasu City AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Lake Havasu City AZ area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Lake Havasu City AZ 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require 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. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lake Havasu City AZ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ area schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance 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 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, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Lake Havasu City AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Lake Havasu City AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant Program near Lake Havasu City AZ
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lake Havasu City AZ.
Tell Me About Lake Havasu City Arizona
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
London Bridge crosses a narrow channel that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the river). Hoping to attract tourists and prospective buyers of residential lots, McCulloch bought it for US$2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled on contract with Sundt Construction, Tucson, Arizona, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled by Sundt for another US$7 million. The construction took three years to complete.
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