How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Salem Utah
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Salem UT is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months 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 complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations 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 roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Salem UT dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Utah dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Salem UT practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial 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 may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Utah community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Salem UT dental offices are normally 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 Utah 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 also. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant program can be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Salem UT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Utah schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Salem UT area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Salem UT typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Utah colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Utah college you choose 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. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Salem UT dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides 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 Salem UT area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Salem UT dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Salem UT dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Salem UT area programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public 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 schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Salem UT.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Salem UT home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical 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 issues.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What compelled you to 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 also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Salem UT
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively 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 usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning 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 asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Salem UT.
Tell Me About Salem Utah
Salem is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 6,423 at the 2010 census. The "Dream Mine" of John Hyrum Koyle, as well as the pond, became synonymous with Salem.
Known as "Summer Spring" by the Indians, and "Pond Town" by early settlers. Pond Town was first settled in 1851.
Salem was later named after New Salem, Massachusetts, the birthplace of Lyman Curtis, to honor his contributions to the community. Curtis was known to be good with a gun, and was a bodyguard for the prophet Joseph Smith. He was a member of Zions Camp. He also was in the discovery party of nine riders that first rode on horseback into the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. He was not officially recognized as one of the nine riders. The other eight have been recognized, though the ninth rider is stated to be unknown. Lyman Curtis also was chosen to develop water irrigation canals into Moapa, Nevada, St. George, Utah, Price, Utah, and Salem, bringing water out of the Spanish Fork Canyon. He built a lumber facility in Salem, and the front door of the lumber business is currently on the cabin in Salem dedicated to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. His son became a medical doctor known as Doc Curtis who delivered babies, and other medical necessities to residents, several of the current older residents of Salem remember well.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.2 square miles (26.4 km2), of which 10.2 square miles (26.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.23%, is water.
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