How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Craig Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Craig AK is an important initial step toward starting 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 performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Craig AK dental office and can perform a variety of tasks. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many 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 duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Craig AK practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one 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 present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alaska junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Craig AK dental offices are generally 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Craig AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Craig AK area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided 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 a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Craig AK frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alaska college you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, the majority of Craig AK dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Craig AK area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Craig AK dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Craig AK dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Craig AK area schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical 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 significant 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Craig AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Craig AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What made you decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Craig AK
Choosing the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Craig AK.
Tell Me About Craig Alaska
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
Craig has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb).
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