Tag Archives: Accredited Dental Assistant Colleges Central AZ 85531

Dental Assistant Training Schools near Central AZ 85531

How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Central Arizona

Central AZ dental assistant assisting oral surgeonChoosing the ideal dental assistant program near Central AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. 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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors 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 duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.

The Function of a Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are an essential part of any Central AZ dental office and can perform a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Purchasing office and dental supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of a Dental Hygienist

When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Central AZ practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options

Central AZ dental assistant and dentist with patientDental assistant programs are available at Arizona junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Central AZ dental offices are generally required to have 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 Arizona trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.

Dental Assistant Online Colleges

attending dental assistant school online in Central AZ Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind 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 available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Central AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs

dental surgery in Central AZWhen you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Central AZ area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Central AZ frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Arizona schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Arizona college you choose 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. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Central AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. 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 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 ideal college for you.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Central AZ area  college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental services for children.

Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Central AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Central AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are the Classes Small? Ask the Central AZ area colleges you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.

What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Central AZ.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Central AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?

When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What made you decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Central AZ

Selecting the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Central AZ.

Tell Me About Central Arizona

Central, Arizona

Central is at 32°52′13″N 109°47′35″W / 32.87028°N 109.79306°W / 32.87028; -109.79306, at an elevation of approximately 2900 feet above sea level.[6] From this location just south of the Gila River within the Upper Gila Valley, Mount Graham of the Pinaleño (Pinaleno Mountains) range dominates the southern skyline.

Central was first homesteaded by the Cluff family in 1880. The Cluffs extended the Central Canal to their lands on the eastern side of Central. Later settlers extended the canal west and north. In 1883 construction began on a one-room white rock building to be used as a church meeting house and school house. By 1884 twenty families, including Cluff, Norton, Shurtz, Bigler, and Webster households resided in Central. In 1978 the streets were named after these early Mormon pioneers. In December 1883 the Central Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized and Joseph Cluff was ordained the first bishop. A new red brick church was built in 1885. It was the first regular meeting house built in this part of Arizona and was also the first home of the LDS Academy from December 1890 to May 1891. A plaque east of Hwy 70 on Central Road commemorates the original home of the St. Joseph Stake Academy that later moved to Thatcher and became Eastern Arizona College.

In 1894, LDS Church historian Andrew Jensen reported on the Central Ward: "Thirty-five families or 178 souls, constitute the Mormon population, and there are only two other families in the district. Central excels in point of large orchards, extensive alfalfa fields and good grain. The meeting house is the only public building in the settlement, in which there is also a small store and a post office. There are a number of fine and comfortable private residences, built mostly of brick and adobe."[8]

The Gila Valley Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opened in 2010, is located in Central. The temple is the third LDS temple built in Arizona and the first temple announced by Thomas S. Monson after being sustained as President of the Church in 2008. Monson dedicated the temple on May 23, 2010.[10]

 

 

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