How to Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Mililani Hawaii
Picking the ideal dental assistant training near Mililani HI is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Mililani HI dental office and can carry out a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Hawaii dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many 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 a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Mililani HI practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When 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 & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Hawaii junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Mililani HI dental offices are normally required to hold 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Hawaii trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Mililani HI home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. 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 necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Hawaii programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Mililani HI area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Mililani HI frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Hawaii schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Hawaii college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, most Mililani HI dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental programs have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Mililani HI area program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Mililani HI dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Mililani HI dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Mililani HI area programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few 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 Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate 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 private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember 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 Mililani HI.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Mililani HI home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What drove you to choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant Program near Mililani HI
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire 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 typically require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Mililani HI.
Tell Me About Mililani Hawaii
Mililani is a city located near the center of the island of Oʻahu in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It consists of two census-designated places, Mililani Town, with a population of 27,629 at the 2010 census, and Mililani Mauka, with a 2010 census population of 21,039.
Mililani sits on former plantation fields owned by Castle & Cooke, which began planning for its development in the early 1960s under its Oceanic Properties subsidiary. Castle & Cooke's plan was to make Mililani Town a satellite city by using a prestigious group of planners and architects to satisfy Oahu's great pent-up demand for housing with a sensitively designed, affordable new community of a type unique in Hawaii. Architect and developer Al Boeke, who would later create the planned community of Sea Ranch, California, was the development director of Mililani. The first homes in Mililani went on sale on June 3, 1968.
In 1976, the Interstate H-2 opened, cutting travel time from Mililani to Honolulu in half. In 1986, Mililani was named an All-America City. It is the only community in Hawaii ever to receive this distinction. Mililani is the third wealthiest zip code (96789) in the state of Hawaii, according to the 2006 ranking by Pacific Business News.
Although it is largely a bedroom community for Honolulu, Mililani has its own commercial shopping centers, schools (such as Mililani High School), parks, community centers, and a golf course, and resembles a modern American suburban town. Mililani homeowners must pay dues to the Mililani Town Association, which enforces covenants and design standards, and provides recreational facilities including several pools.
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