How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Lihue Hawaii
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Lihue HI is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including 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 depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Lihue HI dental practice and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Hawaii dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Lihue HI practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Hawaii community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lihue HI dental practices are normally 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Hawaii vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant program may be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lihue HI home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Hawaii programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Lihue HI area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important 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 school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Lihue HI frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Hawaii schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Hawaii school you select offers the program that you want. 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, the majority of Lihue HI dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school 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 solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Lihue HI area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Lihue HI dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lihue HI dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Lihue HI area programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lihue HI.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Lihue HI home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Lihue HI
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly one year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lihue HI.
Tell Me About Lihue Hawaii
Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 6,455.
In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language. Lihue is located in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea; he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.
With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.
Subsequent plantation owner Paul Isenberg helped German people emigrate to Lihue starting in 1881, with the first Lutheran church in Hawaii founded in 1883. Services were delivered in German well into the 1960s. By the 1930s, George Norton Wilcox became one of the largest sugarcane plantation owners, buying Grove Farm from Hermann A. Widemann. The Wilcox family home, Kilohana, has been converted into a restaurant and gift shop. The surrounding plantation now grows crops and livestock. A narrow gauge tourist railroad with vintage diesel locomotives from Whitworth and General Electric offers tours of the plantation; horse-drawn carriage tours are offered as well. The grounds are also the site of luaus, many of which are offshore excursions booked through NCL America. Lihue also houses the Kauai Museum, which details the history of Kauai.
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