How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near Eielson Afb Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training near Eielson Afb AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should 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 available.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Eielson Afb AK dental office and can undertake a multitude of duties. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest 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 Eielson Afb AK practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Alaska community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Eielson Afb AK dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Eielson Afb AK home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Eielson Afb AK area schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Eielson Afb AK typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alaska colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alaska college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Eielson Afb AK dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose 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, make sure that the Eielson Afb AK area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Eielson Afb AK dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Eielson Afb AK dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Eielson Afb AK area colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Eielson Afb AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Eielson Afb AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good 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 need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Eielson Afb AK
Picking the ideal dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 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 credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Eielson Afb AK.
Tell Me About Eielson Afb Alaska
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Col. Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16 C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF’s only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army’s I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
Eielson is projected to have fifty-four F-35's arriving in April of 2020 and continuing through 2022. The planes will come with an estimated 3,500 personnel, to include Airmen and their families as well as civilian personnel. The F-35 program will increase the number of military personnel at Eielson by about 50 percent, which is a significant change for a base once on the brink of closure.
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LAWRENCE S. KINGSLEY
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