How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near Wellsburg West Virginia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Wellsburg WV is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Wellsburg WV dental practice and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Wellsburg WV practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at West Virginia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a 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 courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Wellsburg WV dental practices are normally required to have 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in West Virginia vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a good option for obtaining your education. 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 provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Wellsburg WV home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing West Virginia programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Wellsburg WV area programs you are looking at in order to make 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 Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Wellsburg WV often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited West Virginia colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the West Virginia college you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, many Wellsburg WV dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. 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 solid 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, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in 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 Wellsburg WV area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Wellsburg WV dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Wellsburg WV dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Wellsburg WV area colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Wellsburg WV.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Wellsburg WV home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant Program near Wellsburg WV
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wellsburg WV.
Tell Me About Wellsburg West Virginia
Wellsburg, West Virginia
Wellsburg is a city in and the county seat of Brooke County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 2010 census recorded a population of 2,805. The diverse economy includes one paper mill, a glass gift outlet, several telemarketing facilities, and a factory that does metal fabrication plus plastics molding.
The town was laid out in 1790, and its post office was opened on September 1, 1870.
In 1772, the Cox brothers, Friend, Israel, and Jonathan, made tomahawk rights claims totaling 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) in the area now including Wellsburg. In March 1788, Charles Prather purchased 481 acres (1.95 km2) from the Cox heirs for $3,000. In 1791, Prather petitioned Ohio County to incorporate the town of Charlestown, Virginia, naming it after himself. The original name continued until 1816, when it was changed to Wellsburg, to avoid confusion with Charles Town, Jefferson County. The new name was in honor of Charles Wells (1745-1815), Charles Prather’s son-in-law, builder of the first large flour warehouse in the east. Late in 1890, nearby Midway and Lazearville were annexed to Wellsburg.
Wellsburg was the home of Patrick Gass, the last surviving member of the Lewis and Clark expedition and author of a memoir of the famous journey. Here also was the home of Joseph Doddridge, author of Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars. In 1832, the original Grimes Golden apple tree was found just east of Wellsburg. The first glass factory in Western Virginia was built at Wellsburg in 1813.
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Doctor of Dental Medicine Licensing Disclosure
Provided below is state-specific licensure information regarding Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. Boston University Henry M.