How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Atqasuk Alaska
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Atqasuk AK is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Atqasuk AK dental practice and can undertake a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many 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 a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Atqasuk AK practice, work with the patients more on an individual 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 present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 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, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alaska junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Atqasuk AK dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alaska trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant college may be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Atqasuk AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Atqasuk AK area schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Atqasuk AK frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alaska school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Atqasuk AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental schools have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Atqasuk AK area college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Atqasuk 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 Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Atqasuk AK dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Atqasuk AK area colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Atqasuk AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Atqasuk AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Atqasuk AK
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Atqasuk AK.
Tell Me About Atqasuk Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.3 square miles (110 km2), of which 38.9 square miles (101 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (8.22%) is water.
Atqasuk first appeared on the 1940 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of "Meade River." It reported on the 1950 census as "Tikikluk." In 1960, it returned again as Meade River. It did not appear on the 1970 census. It next reported on the 1980 U.S. Census as "Atkasook", and was made a census designated place (CDP). It formally incorporated in 1982 as Atqasuk.
As of the census of 2000, there were 228 people, 55 households, and 44 families residing in the city. The population density was 5.9 people per square mile (2.3/km²). There were 60 housing units at an average density of 1.5 per square mile (0.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 4.82% White, 94.30% Native Alaskan, 0.44% Asian, and 0.44% from two or more races.
There were 55 households out of which 50.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 21.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 16.4% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.15 and the average family size was 4.49.
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