How to Pick a Dental Assistant Training Program near Litchfield Park Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Litchfield Park AZ is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Litchfield Park AZ dental office and can carry out a variety of functions. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide 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 role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Litchfield Park AZ practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 Examination 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 & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Arizona junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Litchfield Park AZ dental offices are often required to have 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Arizona community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program may be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Litchfield Park AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Litchfield Park AZ area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Litchfield Park AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Arizona college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Litchfield Park AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good 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 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 right school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college 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 Litchfield Park AZ area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Litchfield Park AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges 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 Litchfield Park AZ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Litchfield Park AZ area schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few 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 Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Litchfield Park AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Litchfield Park AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have 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 work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Litchfield Park AZ
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Litchfield Park AZ.
Tell Me About Litchfield Park Arizona
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Litchfield Park is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is twenty miles northwest of Phoenix. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,476.
The town of Litchfield Park is an affluent community outside of Phoenix named after its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield (1875–1959). He was an executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who came to the Phoenix area in 1916 in search of suitable land to farm a long-staple cotton that had previously been available only from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and from Egypt. This cotton was needed to strengthen the rubber in the pneumatic tire, of which Goodyear was the world's largest producer. The east coast cotton supply had been devastated by the boll weevil and the African supply had been greatly reduced by World War I attacks from German U-boats. Litchfield went to the Phoenix area at the suggestion of the United States Department of Agriculture, but he was not successful in motivating local farmers to grow his cotton. Instead he got Goodyear to form the Southwest Cotton Company in Phoenix, with Litchfield as its president, eventually purchasing some 36,000 acres in the general Salt River Valley area including 5,000 acres around the present site of Litchfield Park, then known as Litchfield Ranch. Much of the land was bought for as little as $25 per acre. The cotton was cultivated with a workforce of mostly Mexican and Native American men. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to the name "Litchfield Park" in 1926. In 1929, the Wigwam Resort was opened to the public. In 1926, Litchfield went on to become the president of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and then Chairman of the Board in 1930. He retired from the company in 1958, and spent the final months of his life as a resident of Litchfield Park at his home on Fairway Drive.
In 1964, Goodyear created Litchfield Park Land and Development Co. to expand Litchfield Park into a 90,000 resident community.Arden E. Goodyear was the head of the company, Patrick Cusick was vice president and general manager, and Victor Gruen was hired to design some of the buildings. Emanuel Cartsonis, who had worked with Cusick became city planner. The plan called for 25,000 homes, a college, a junior college, eighteen elementary schools, ten junior high schools, and six high schools, as well as improvements to the town's golf course and harness track at an expense of at least 750 million dollars. Goodyear made many mistakes during development, including selling properties right up to the curb line, which means that the city must get permission from property owners before they can put in a sidewalk. They abandoned their plans for expanding Litchfield Park before they were completed and sold whatever land they could.
Litchfield Park is located at 33°29′36″N 112°21′30″W / 33.49333°N 112.35833°W / 33.49333; -112.35833 (33.493410, −112.358210).
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