How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Galena Alaska
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Galena AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss 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 look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Galena AK dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Galena AK practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alaska community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Galena AK dental practices are usually 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Alaska trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Galena AK home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Galena AK area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Galena AK typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alaska school you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Galena AK dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good 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 may 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 best college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Galena AK area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Galena AK dental practice. They help 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 Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Galena AK dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Galena AK area programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Galena AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Galena AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What compelled you to select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Galena AK
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Galena AK.
Tell Me About Galena Alaska
Galena (/ɡəˈliːnə/) (Notaalee Denh in Koyukon) is a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 470, with a 2016 estimate of 488 inhabitants. Galena was established in 1918, and a military airfield was built adjacent to the city during World War II. The city was incorporated in 1971.
The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer many families floated on rafts to the Yukon River to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919.
In 1941 and 1942, during World War II, a military air field was built adjacent to the civilian airport, and the two facilities shared the runway and flight line facilities. This air field was designated Galena Air Force Station shortly after the split of the United States Air Force from the United States Army, which occurred as a result of the National Security Act of 1947. During the 1950s, the construction of additional military facilities at Galena and the nearby Campion Air Force Station, in support of Galena's mission as a forward operating base under the auspices of the 5072nd Air Base Group, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, provided improvements to the airport and the local infrastructure, causing economic growth for the area.
Following the end of the Cold War, in 1993, operation of Galena Air Force Station was turned over to a contractor, and all military personnel were withdrawn with only small groups of active personnel visiting the base on an as-needed basis. The former military facility remains in use effectively as a forward operating location that is used occasionally by the military. This use came under scrutiny by the Base Realignment and Closure Committee in the late 2000s and was officially closed October 1, 2010. The Air Force retains responsibility for toxin cleanup in the area and engineers from Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks still visit the site on occasion. The base is now totally controlled by the City of Galena, the Galena School District and the Alaska Department of Transportation. The Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was pursuing[when?] retaining one of the F-16 fighter hangars as a CAP facility for the CAP Wing in Galena, the "Yukon Squadron".
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