How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Clifton Arizona
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Clifton AZ is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Clifton AZ dental practice and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting 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 assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Clifton AZ practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Arizona community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally 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. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Clifton AZ dental practices are normally 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Clifton AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Clifton AZ area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of 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 condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college 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 Clifton AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Arizona college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Clifton AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and 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, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Clifton AZ area school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Clifton AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Clifton AZ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Clifton AZ area colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, 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 significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Clifton AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Clifton AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant College near Clifton AZ
Choosing the right dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Clifton AZ.
Tell Me About Clifton Arizona
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
Clifton and Morenci are considered to be an economic unit by the Arizona Department of Commerce.
Clifton is located at 33°2′26″N 109°18′3″W / 33.04056°N 109.30083°W / 33.04056; -109.30083 (33.040536, -109.300882).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
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