How to Select a Dental Assistant Training Program near Washington Michigan
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Washington MI is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine 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 school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile 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 discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to 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 Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Washington MI dental office and can undertake a myriad of duties. Their main job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Washington MI practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Michigan community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Washington MI dental practices are usually 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in Michigan vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant program can be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Washington MI home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing Michigan schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Washington MI 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Washington MI often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Michigan programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Michigan school you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Washington MI dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good 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 may 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 right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Washington MI area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Washington MI dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require 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 high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Washington MI dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Washington MI area programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, 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 degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Washington MI.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Washington MI home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What made you select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant School near Washington MI
Choosing the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Washington MI.
Tell Me About Washington Michigan
Washington Township, Macomb County, Michigan
Washington Charter Township, located in the outskirts of metro Detroit, is a charter township of Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 25,139 at the 2010 census. Washington Township is bordered by the village of Romeo as well as Ray Township, Shelby Township, and Oakland Township. The historic Octagon House and Stony Creek Metro Park are popular destinations for visitors.
Westview Orchards was founded in what is now Washington Township in 1813.
Washington Township was organized in 1827. It is home to the historic Octagon House, built by Loren Andrus from 1858-1860.
The Township has a Supervisor-Board style township government with elected supervisor, clerk, treasurer and four trustees. School district serving the Township residents are Romeo Community Schools and Utica Community Schools and Rochester Schools from Oakland County.
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