How to Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Valley Grove West Virginia
Picking the right dental assistant program near Valley Grove WV is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Valley Grove WV dental office and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job 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 earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Valley Grove WV practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one 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 present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at West Virginia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Valley Grove WV dental practices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in West Virginia trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college might be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Valley Grove WV home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened 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 required 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 option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing West Virginia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Valley Grove WV area colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Valley Grove WV typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited West Virginia programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the West Virginia school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Valley Grove WV dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college 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 ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Valley Grove WV area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Valley Grove WV dental practice. They help 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 schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Valley Grove WV dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Valley Grove WV area programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Valley Grove WV.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to 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 must go to classes near your Valley Grove WV home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What compelled you to pick Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Best Dental Assistant College near Valley Grove WV
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Valley Grove WV.
Tell Me About Valley Grove West Virginia
Valley Grove, West Virginia
Valley Grove is a village in Ohio County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 378 at the 2010 census. The village was named from a nearby recreational area at a grove in a valley.
Valley Grove is located at 40°05′16″N 80°34′07″W / 40.087902°N 80.568611°W / 40.087902; -80.568611 (40.087902, -80.568611), along Little Wheeling Creek, a tributary of Wheeling Creek.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.55 square miles (1.42 km2), all of it land.
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