How to Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Winthrop Maine
Picking the right dental assistant school near Winthrop ME is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to 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 offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Winthrop ME dental practice and can undertake a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing 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 vary by state, so check with the Maine dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties 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 dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Winthrop ME practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Maine junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Winthrop ME dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Maine community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant college may be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Winthrop ME home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Maine schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Winthrop ME area colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Winthrop ME frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Maine programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Maine school you select 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 have a career as a hygienist, most Winthrop ME dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Winthrop ME area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Winthrop ME dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Winthrop ME dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Winthrop ME area schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized 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 witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Winthrop ME.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Winthrop ME home in the evenings 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant College near Winthrop ME
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Winthrop ME.
Tell Me About Winthrop Maine
Winthrop is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,092 at the 2010 census. Winthrop's population, however, approximately doubles during the summer months as part-year residents return to seasonal camps located on the shores of Winthrop's Lakes and Ponds. A recreational area located among lakes, the town includes the villages of Winthrop and East Winthrop, and is the center of the Winthrop Lakes Region. Winthrop is included in the Augusta, Maine Micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
Winthrop was part of the Kennebec Purchase awarded by the Plymouth Council for New England. First called Pondtown for its lakes and ponds, it was settled by Timothy Foster in 1765. On April 26, 1771, Pondtown Plantation was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Winthrop, named for the first colonial governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop.Readfield was set off and incorporated in 1791. The surface of the town is uneven, but with good land that yielded hay, grain and apples. Winthrop became noted for its orchards and cattle.
At the outlet of Maranacook Lake into Annabessacook Lake, John Chandler built a sawmill in 1768, and then added a gristmill. Other industries followed, including a fulling mill, tannery and blacksmith shop. The Winthrop Woolen & Cotton Manufactory was incorporated in 1809, and in 1814 went into operation. By 1886, the town had a sawmill which manufactured about 200,000 feet of lumber every year, two oil cloth factories, a sash and blind factory, and a foundry and machine shop. The Maine Central Railroad opened to the village, carrying freight and tourists. Winthrop and its lakes developed into a summer resort, which it remains today.
Upper Dam Bridge c. 1905
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