How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near West Hartland Connecticut
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training near West Hartland CT is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving 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 complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile 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 factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any West Hartland CT dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 role 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 in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the West Hartland CT practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. 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 duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Connecticut junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in West Hartland CT dental offices are generally required to have 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 Connecticut community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your West Hartland CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Connecticut programs and schools. 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 schools. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the West Hartland CT area colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school 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 West Hartland CT often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Connecticut school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of West Hartland CT dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good 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 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 best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the West Hartland CT area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional West Hartland CT dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Hartland CT dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the West Hartland CT area colleges you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in West Hartland CT.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your West Hartland CT home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What made you decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Dental Assistant Program near West Hartland CT
Selecting the right dental assistant program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in West Hartland CT.
Tell Me About West Hartland Connecticut
Hartland is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 2,114 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.6 square miles (89.6 km2), of which 33.1 square miles (85.7 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), or 4.39%, is water. Bounded on the north by the Massachusetts border, Hartland is drained by the Farmington River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. The 42nd parallel north and the 73rd meridian west meet in the central western part of town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,012 people, 707 households, and 583 families residing in the town. The population density was 60.9 people per square mile (23.5/km²). There were 759 housing units at an average density of 23.0 per square mile (8.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.31% White, 0.15% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 707 households out of which 38.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.5% were non-families. 13.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.12.
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