How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Wheat Ridge Colorado
Picking the right dental assistant school near Wheat Ridge CO is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Wheat Ridge CO dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Colorado dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing 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 choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Wheat Ridge CO practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once 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 Colorado junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wheat Ridge CO dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Colorado vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant school can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Wheat Ridge CO home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Colorado programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Wheat Ridge CO area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Wheat Ridge CO typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited Colorado colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Colorado college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, a large number of Wheat Ridge CO dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Wheat Ridge CO area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Wheat Ridge CO dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wheat Ridge CO dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Wheat Ridge CO area schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Wheat Ridge CO.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Wheat Ridge CO home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant School near Wheat Ridge CO
Choosing the right dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented 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 Wheat Ridge CO.
Tell Me About Wheat Ridge Colorado
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Wheat Ridge is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Wheat Ridge is a western suburb of Denver. The Wheat Ridge Municipal Center is approximately 5 miles (8 km) west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The city had a population of 30,166 as of the 2010 Census.
Although Wheat Ridge is a relatively young incorporated city, it has a history based on agriculture and the community’s location along regional travel routes. It grew from a popular rest stop for travelers during the Gold Rush of the late 1850s to an agricultural and suburban community known as the “Carnation City” in the mid 1900s. As the residential areas of unincorporated Jefferson County grew to provide housing to the Denver workforce during the 1950s, the major transportation corridors extending from Denver developed with commercial services. During that era, the formation of numerous utility and fire protection districts provided these unincorporated areas with urban services. Eventually, due to the increasing annexation pressure from nearby municipalities, Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969.
Wheat Ridge is located at 39°45′58″N 105°04′38″W / 39.76611°N 105.07722°W / 39.76611; -105.07722 (39.7660980, -105.0772063) at an elevation of 5,459 feet (1,664 m). Located at the junction of Interstate 70 and Colorado State Highway 391 in central Colorado, the city is immediately west of Denver and 66 miles (106 km) north-northwest of Colorado Springs.
Wheat Ridge is located in the Colorado Piedmont on the western edge of the Great Plains just east of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains.Clear Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River, flows east then northeast through the city. Lena Gulch, a tributary of Clear Creek, flows northeast through the southwest part of the city.
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