How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near West Enfield Maine
Selecting the right dental assistant program near West Enfield ME is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any West Enfield ME dental practice and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Maine dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the West Enfield ME practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Maine junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in West Enfield ME dental practices are often 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 Maine vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant program may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your West Enfield ME home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Maine programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the West Enfield ME area colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, 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 instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in West Enfield ME often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Maine programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Maine college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices 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 West Enfield ME dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep 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 school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the West Enfield ME area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real West Enfield ME dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the West Enfield ME dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the West Enfield ME area colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in West Enfield ME.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your West Enfield ME home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What drove you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant College near West Enfield ME
Choosing the right dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in West Enfield ME.
Tell Me About West Enfield Maine
Enfield is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,607 at the 2010 census. There is also a large seasonal population with many cottages located on Cold Stream Pond, a lake within the town.
Enfield was first settled on the east bank of the Penobscot River about 1820, and was originally called Cold Stream. It was incorporated on January 31, 1835.
In 1891, four armed men boarded and attempted to rob a train as it passed through Enfield, shooting at the engineer, fireman, and conductors. They also shot up the train station. They failed in their attempt to break into the mail-car, but it was a dark night and they escaped capture.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.00 square miles (85.47 km2), of which, 27.74 square miles (71.85 km2) of it is land and 5.26 square miles (13.62 km2) is water.
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