How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant College near Yreka California
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Yreka CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Yreka CA dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the California dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. 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 Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Yreka CA practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. 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 and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at California junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Yreka CA dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in California vocational 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. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Yreka CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing California schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Yreka CA area colleges you are looking at in order to make 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 College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Yreka CA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited California programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the California school you select has 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 Yreka CA dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Yreka CA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Yreka CA 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 are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Yreka CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Yreka CA area schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Yreka CA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Yreka CA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Yreka CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you intend 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 training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Yreka CA.
Tell Me About Yreka California
Yreka (/waɪˈriːkə/ wy-REE-kə) is the county seat of Siskiyou County, California, United States, located in the Shasta Valley at 2,500 feet (760 m) above sea level and covering about 10.1 sq mi (26 km2) area, of which most is land. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 7,765, reflecting an increase of 475 from the 7,290 counted in the 2000 Census. Yreka is home to the College of the Siskiyous, Klamath National Forest Interpretive Museum and the Siskiyou County Museum. Its gold mining heritage is commemorated by the high school team which uses a gold miner as their name and mascot.
In March 1851, Abraham Thompson, a mule train packer, discovered gold near Rocky Gulch while traveling along the Siskiyou Trail from southern Oregon. By April 1851, 2,000 miners had arrived in "Thompson's Dry Diggings" to test their luck, and by June 1851, a gold rush "boomtown" of tents, shanties, and a few rough cabins had sprung up. Several name changes occurred until the little city was called Yreka. The name comes from the Shasta language /wáik'a/, for which Mount Shasta is named. The word means "north mountain" or "white mountain".
Mark Twain tells a different story:
Poet Joaquin Miller described Yreka during 1853–1854 as a bustling place with "... a tide of people up and down and across other streets, as strong as if a city on the East Coast". Incorporation proceedings were completed on April 21, 1857.
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