How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near Page Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Page AZ is an essential first step toward starting 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 doing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 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 common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However 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 cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Page AZ dental office and can perform a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering 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 working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose 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 job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, 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 assisting the Page AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered 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 junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Page AZ dental offices are normally 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Page AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Page AZ area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Page AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Arizona college you select 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, most Page AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may 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 right college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Page AZ area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Page AZ 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 Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Page AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Page AZ area programs you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Page AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Page AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What drove you to select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Find the Best Dental Assistant College near Page AZ
Selecting the right dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Page AZ.
Tell Me About Page Arizona
Page is a city in Coconino County, Arizona, United States, near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 7,247.
Unlike other cities in the area, Page was founded in 1957 as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of nearby Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Its 17-square-mile (44 km2) site was obtained in a land exchange with the Navajo Nation. The city is perched atop Manson Mesa at an elevation of 4,300 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and 600 feet (180 m) above Lake Powell.
The city was originally called Government Camp, but was later named for John C. Page, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1936-1943.
After the dam was completed in the 1960s, and was officially incorporated (March 1, 1975), the city grew steadily to today's population of over 9,000. Because of the new roads and bridge built for use during construction, it has become the gateway to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year. Page is also the home of two of the largest electrical generation units in the western United States. Glen Canyon Dam has a 1,288,000-kilowatt capacity when fully online. The other power plant to the southeast is the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired steam plant with an output capability of 2,250,000 kilowatts.
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