How to Choose a Dental Assistant Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Casa Grande AZ is an essential initial 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 much more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually 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 finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Casa Grande AZ dental office and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose 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 main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Casa Grande AZ practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Arizona community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Casa Grande AZ dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college can be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Casa Grande AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often 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 learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Casa Grande AZ area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going 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 school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Casa Grande AZ frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Arizona college you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Casa Grande AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional 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 Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Casa Grande AZ area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Casa Grande AZ 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Casa Grande AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Casa Grande AZ area programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Casa Grande AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Casa Grande AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What compelled you to choose Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Casa Grande AZ
Choosing the right dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, 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 obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Casa Grande AZ.
Tell Me About Casa Grande Arizona
Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande (O'odham: Wainom Wo:g) is a city in Pinal County, approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson in the U.S. state of Arizona. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 48,571. It is named after the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, which is actually located in Coolidge. "Casa Grande" is Spanish for "big house".
Casa Grande was founded in 1879 during the Arizona mining boom, specifically due to the presence of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In January 1880, the community of Terminus, meaning "end-of-the-line," was established despite consisting of just five residents and three buildings. In September 1880, railroad executives renamed the settlement Casa Grande, after the Hohokam ruins at the nearby Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Casa Grande grew slowly, and suffered several setbacks both in 1886 and 1893, when fires ravaged the town, destroying all wooden housing structures within it. When the mining boom slowed in the 1890s, the town was nearly abandoned, but with the advent of agriculture, the town remained alive and well, and was eventually incorporated in 1915.
One of the founding fathers of Casa Grande was Thompson Rodney Peart. Peart Road, Peart Park, and the Peart Center, all of which are notable fixtures of Casa Grande, are named after him.
Casa Grande was home to a collective farm society which was part of the New Deal.
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