How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Wilson North Carolina
Choosing the ideal dental assistant college near Wilson NC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Wilson NC dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the North Carolina dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt 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 contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly 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 supporting the Wilson NC 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 teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at North Carolina community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Wilson NC dental practices are generally 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 almost every state. They are also offered in North Carolina vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect 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 good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wilson NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing North Carolina schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Wilson NC area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal 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 college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school 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 Wilson NC frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited North Carolina colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the North Carolina college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Wilson NC dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Wilson NC area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Wilson NC 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Wilson NC dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Wilson NC area programs you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wilson NC.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Wilson NC home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Wilson NC
Picking the ideal dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to receive 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 community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wilson NC.
Tell Me About Wilson North Carolina
Wilson, North Carolina
Wilson is a city in and the county seat of Wilson County, North Carolina, United States. Located approximately 40 mi (64 km) east of the capital city of Raleigh, it is served by the interchange of Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 264. Wilson had an estimated population of 49,610 in 2012, according to the Census Bureau.
In the early 21st century, Wilson was ranked as 18th in size among North Carolina’s 500-plus municipalities. From 1990 to 2010, the city population increased by more than 40 percent, primarily due to construction of new subdivisions that attracted many new residents. This has been accompanied by new retail and shopping construction, primarily in the northwestern parts of the city. Wilson is a diverse community; in 2012, the US Census estimated that 48% of the population identified as African American, and 43% as Whites; the remaining 9% includes Latinos and Asians, such as Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian groups. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated in 2012 that nearly 5,000 county residents (7.5 percent) were foreign-born. Of those, nearly 3,000 people, or 62 percent, had entered the U.S. since 2000.
Once a center of tobacco cultivation, the city was widely known as "The World’s Greatest Tobacco Market" in the nineteenth century. In the 21st century, Wilson enjoys a diverse economy based on agriculture, manufacturing, commercial, and service businesses.
The history of the city of Wilson began with a community that formed around Toisnot Primitive Baptist Church, built in the early 1800s. The community was originally called Toisnot. In 1836, the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad Co. began building a Wilmington-to-Weldon line. The railway reached the community in 1839, and by 1840 Toisnot had both north-and-south service. That stimulated growth of the community.
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