How to Pick a Dental Assistant Training Program near Weston Florida
Picking the ideal dental assistant training near Weston FL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss 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 look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Weston FL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Florida dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Weston FL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Florida community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Weston FL dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Florida trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Weston FL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs 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 practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Florida schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Weston FL area colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Weston FL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Florida colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Florida college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Weston FL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Weston FL area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Weston FL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs 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. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Weston FL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Weston FL area colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out 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 teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Weston FL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Weston FL home in the evenings 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 protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What drove you to select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Weston FL
Selecting the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to receive 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining 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 ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Weston FL.
Tell Me About Weston Florida
Weston is a master planned suburban community in Broward County, Florida, United States. Established as a city in 1996, much of the community was developed by Arvida/JMB Realty (known for developing Walt Disney World) and is located near the western developmental boundary of Broward County. It is the most western city in Broward County, and its entire west side is next to the Everglades. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 65,333. Weston is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census.
In 2010, Money magazine ranked Weston 19th in America in the "Biggest Earners" category, with a median family income of $119,689. In 2006, it was ranked as the city with the largest job growth in Florida and 18th largest in the nation.BusinessWeek ranked Weston as one of the "best affordable suburbs" in the United States in November 2006.
Weston consistently ranks high annually in CNN Money magazine's "Biggest Earners" category. In 2008, Money magazine ranked Weston as the 73rd best place to live in America, making it the best place to live in the state of Florida. In 2012, Weston moved up eleven slots to the 62nd best place to live in America, once again topping the list in the state of Florida. It was recently named by Family Circle Magazine one of the Ten Best Towns for Families for 2015.
South Florida winters are usually dry and warm during La Niña conditions, while El Niño conditions usually bring cool and wet conditions to the region. ENSO effects on South Florida are rather minimal during the summer months, with the exception of tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin.
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