How to Select a Dental Assistant Training Program near Weirton West Virginia
Choosing the right dental assistant college near Weirton WV is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to 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 school that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Weirton WV dental practice and can carry out a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the West Virginia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Weirton WV practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at West Virginia junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Weirton WV dental offices are usually required to hold 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 almost 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 assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college might be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Weirton WV home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies 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 online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the process of comparing West Virginia programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Weirton WV area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Weirton WV 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 West Virginia schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the West Virginia school you choose offers 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. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Weirton WV dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate 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, verify that the Weirton WV area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Weirton WV dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Weirton WV dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Weirton WV area programs you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate 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 whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Weirton WV.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Weirton WV home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant Program near Weirton WV
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain 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 junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Weirton WV.
Tell Me About Weirton West Virginia
Weirton, West Virginia
Weirton (pron. WEER-ton) is a city in Brooke and Hancock counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located primarily in Hancock County, the city lies in the northern portions of the state's Northern Panhandle region. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 19,746. It is a principal city within the Weirton-Steubenville Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 124,454 residents, and by extension part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area.
The small village called Holliday's Cove lanes — which is now most of downtown Weirton — was founded in 1793. (It eventually lost the apostrophe.) In 1909, Ernest T. Weir arrived from neighboring Pittsburgh and built a steel mill later known as Weirton Steel Corporation just north of Holliday's Cove. An unincorporated settlement called Weirton grew up around the mill that, by 1940, was said to be the largest unincorporated city in the United States. By then Hollidays Cove and two other outlying areas, Weirton Heights and Marland Heights, which as their names suggest were on hilltops or ridges surrounding the "Weir–Cove" area, had also incorporated.
Hollidays Cove Fort was a Revolutionary War fortification constructed in 1774 by soldiers from Ft. Pitt. It was located in what is now downtown Weirton, along Harmons Creek (named for Harmon Greathouse), about three miles from its mouth on the Ohio River. It was commanded by Colonel Andrew Van Swearingen (1741–1793) and later by his son-in-law, Captain Samuel Brady (1756–1795), the famous leader of Brady's Rangers. In 1779, over 28 militia were garrisoned at Hollidays Cove. Two years earlier, Colonel Van Swearingen led a dozen soldiers by longboat down the Ohio to help rescue the inhabitants of Ft. Henry in Wheeling in a siege by the British and Indian tribes in 1777. That mission was memorialized in a WPA-era mural painted on the wall of the Cove Post Office by Charles S. Chapman (1879–1962). The mural features Col. John Bilderback, who later gained infamy as the leader of the massacre of the Moravian Indians in Gnadenhutten in 1782.
On July 1, 1947, all of these areas — Hollidays Cove, Marland Heights, Weirton Heights, and unincorporated Weirton — merged and formed the city of Weirton as it currently exists. Thomas E. Millsop, the head of the Weirton Steel division of the other Ernest T. Weir company, National Steel Corporation, was elected as the city's first mayor. The city charter was approved by voters in 1950.
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