How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Wilsonville Oregon
Picking the right dental assistant training near Wilsonville OR is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Wilsonville OR dental office and can perform a wide range of functions. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Oregon dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Wilsonville OR practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Oregon community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wilsonville OR dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Oregon community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college may be a good option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Wilsonville OR home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Oregon programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Wilsonville OR area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program 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 Wilsonville OR typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Oregon schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Oregon college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Wilsonville OR dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because 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 school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Wilsonville OR area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Wilsonville OR 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 Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wilsonville OR dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Wilsonville OR area schools you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wilsonville OR.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Wilsonville OR home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Wilsonville OR
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 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 credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wilsonville OR.
Tell Me About Wilsonville Oregon
Wilsonville is a city primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A portion of the northern section of the city is in Washington County. It was founded as Boones Landing because of the Boones Ferry which crossed the Willamette River at the location; the community became Wilsonville in 1880. The city was incorporated in 1969 with a population of approximately 1,000. The population was 13,991 at the 2000 census, and grew to 19,509 as of 2010. Slightly more than 90% of residents at the 2000 census were white, with Hispanics comprising the largest minority group.
Located within the Portland metropolitan area, the city also includes the planned community of Charbonneau on the south side of the river. The city is bisected by Interstate 5 and includes I-5's Boone Bridge over the Willamette. Public transportation is provided by the city's South Metro Area Regional Transit, which includes Wilsonville Station on the Westside Express Service operated by TriMet. Students in public schools attend schools in the West Linn-Wilsonville and Canby school districts, including the only traditional high school, Wilsonville High School. Clackamas Community College and Pioneer Pacific College both have campuses in the city.
Wilsonville has a council-manager form of government and operates its own library, public works, and parks department. Fire and police protection are contracted out to other regional government agencies. The city is home to several technology companies including Mentor Graphics, along with Stream Global Services, the largest employer in the city. Wilsonville contains many distribution and manufacturing buildings adjacent to Interstate 5 such as regional distribution facilities for Coca Cola and Rite Aid. Retail centers include Argyle Square on the north and the Town Center Shopping Center to the south. Media in Wilsonville consists of the Portland area broadcast stations, regional newspapers, and the local Wilsonville Spokesman newspaper.
Alphonso Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, settled in what would later become Wilsonville in 1846 and established the Boones Ferry across the Willamette River in 1847. The ferry gave rise to the community of Boones Landing, which eventually grew into Wilsonville. Originally, the area was part of what became Yamhill County, but was transferred to the current Clackamas County in 1855. The first post office was established in 1876 with the name, Boones Ferry.
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