How to Choose a Dental Assistant Training Program near Kingman Arizona
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Kingman AZ is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns 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 roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Kingman AZ dental practice and can perform a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying 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 dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many 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 a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Kingman AZ practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Arizona community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Kingman AZ dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Kingman AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice 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 education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Kingman AZ area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, 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 Kingman AZ typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Arizona school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Kingman AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Kingman AZ area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Kingman AZ 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Kingman AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Kingman AZ area colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Kingman AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Kingman AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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 emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant Program near Kingman AZ
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Kingman AZ.
Tell Me About Kingman Arizona
Kingman (Huwaalyapay Nyava in the Mojave language) is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler, and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 45,000. Kingman is located 85 miles (137 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.
Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a U.S. Navy officer in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the U.S. War Department to build a federal wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. Beale's Wagon Road became part of Highway 66 and Interstate Highway 40. Remnants of the wagon road can still be seen in White Cliffs Canyon in Kingman.
Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, when Arizona was still Arizona Territory. Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.
The Mohave County seat originally was located in Mohave City from 1864 to 1867. The portion of Arizona Territory west of the Colorado River was transferred to Nevada in 1865 after Nevada's statehood, and became part of Lincoln County, Nevada later Clark County, Nevada. The remaining territory of Pah-Ute County became part of Mohave County. Its seat was moved to Hardyville (which is now within Bullhead City) in 1867. The county seat transferred to the mining town of Cerbat in 1873, then to Mineral Park near Chloride in 1877. In 1887, the county seat was moved to Kingman after some period of time without a permanent county seat, the instruments and records of Mohave County government were taken clandestinely from Chloride and moved to Kingman in the middle of the night during this final transfer of the county seat.
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