How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Training Program near Wiggins Mississippi
Picking the right dental assistant school near Wiggins MS is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months 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 finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Wiggins MS dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Mississippi dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than 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) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role 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 Wiggins MS practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 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 & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Mississippi community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wiggins MS dental offices are normally required to have 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in Mississippi trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Wiggins MS home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Mississippi schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Wiggins MS area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, 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 Wiggins MS often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Mississippi programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Mississippi school 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. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Wiggins MS dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Wiggins MS area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Wiggins MS dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wiggins MS dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Wiggins MS area programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor 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 teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Wiggins MS.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Wiggins MS home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Wiggins MS
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately one year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wiggins MS.
Tell Me About Wiggins Mississippi
Wiggins is a city in Stone County, Mississippi, United States. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,390 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stone County.
Wiggins is named after Wiggins Hatten, the father of Madison Hatten, one of the area's original homesteaders. It was incorporated in 1904, and the 1910 census reported 980 residents. In the early 1900s, Wiggins prospered along with the booming timber industry. Wiggins was once headquarters of the Finkbine Lumber Company.
On January 21, 1910, between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm, more than half of the Wiggins business district was destroyed by fire. The fire started from unknown origin in the Hammock Building, a lodging house, and spread rapidly because of strong winds from the northwest. With no city fire department or waterworks, the residents of Wiggins resorted to bucket brigades and dynamite to stop the fire, which was confined to the east side of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad. The fire consumed 41 business establishments, including the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad depot. Only two or three residential dwellings were destroyed, because most homes were built away from the business district.
Wiggins has long been known for its pickle production, and at one time boasted of being home to the world's largest pickle processing facility. However, the pickle processing facility is now closed, and although the timber industry has declined since the boom years, it still sustains many businesses in Wiggins.
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