How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Winfield Kansas
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Winfield KS is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Winfield KS dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Kansas dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have 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) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main 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 Winfield KS practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Kansas junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Winfield KS dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Kansas vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Winfield KS home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Kansas programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Winfield KS area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Winfield KS often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Kansas colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Kansas 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. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Winfield KS dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Winfield KS area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Winfield KS dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Winfield KS dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Winfield KS area programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Winfield KS.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Winfield KS home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select 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 need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What compelled you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Winfield KS
Picking the right dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available 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 community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Winfield KS.
Tell Me About Winfield Kansas
Winfield is a city and county seat of Cowley County, Kansas, United States. It is situated along the Walnut River in South Central Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,301 and second most populous city of Cowley County.
Winfield was founded in 1870. It was named for Rev. Winfield Scott, who promised to build the town a church in exchange for the naming rights. The first post office at Winfield was established in May, 1870. In 1873, Winfield incorporated as a city.
Railroads reached Winfield in the late 1870s. and finished at Arkansas City in 1881. Eventually, a total of 5 railroads passed through Winfield.
In 1881, the State of Kansas established the Kansas State Asylum for Idiotic and Imbecile Youth, temporarily established at Lawrence, but moved to Winfield in 1887/1888, where it served as a dominant local employer for 117 years.
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