How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Colorado City Arizona
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Colorado City AZ is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Colorado City AZ dental practice and can carry out a variety of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably 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 supporting the Colorado City AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 licensure 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 Arizona junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Colorado City AZ dental offices are often 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 Arizona community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Colorado City AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Colorado City AZ area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Colorado City AZ often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Arizona school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, the majority of Colorado City AZ dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Colorado City AZ area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Colorado City AZ dental practice. They make it easier for 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Colorado City AZ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Colorado City AZ area colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Colorado City AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Colorado City AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might 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 attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Colorado City AZ
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Colorado City AZ.
Tell Me About Colorado City Arizona
Colorado City, Arizona
Colorado City is a town in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, and is located in a region known as the Arizona Strip. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,821. At least three Mormon fundamentalist sects are said to have been based there.
Colorado City, formerly known as Short Creek (or the Short Creek Community), was founded in 1913 by members of the Council of Friends, a breakaway group from the Salt Lake City-based The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Council of Friends membership desired a remote location where they could practice plural marriage, which had been publicly abandoned by the LDS Church in 1890. On July 26, 1953, Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle sent troops into the settlement to stop polygamy in what became known as the Short Creek raid. The two-year legal battle that followed became a public relations disaster that damaged Pyle's political career and set a hands-off tone toward the town in Arizona for the next 50 years.
After the death of Joseph W. Musser, the community split into two groups: the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stayed in Short Creek, while the Apostolic United Brethren relocated to Bluffdale, Utah. The FLDS changed the name of the community to Colorado City (on the Arizona side of the border) and Hildale (on the Utah side) to eliminate any ties to the Short Creek raids.
In January 2004, the local FLDS fundamentalist leader, Warren Jeffs, expelled a group of 20 men, including the mayor, and gave their wives and children to other men. Jeffs, now a convicted sexual predator, stated he was acting on the orders of God, while the men expelled claimed they were penalized for disagreeing with Jeffs. Observers stated[by whom?] that this was the most severe split to date within the community other than the split between Colorado City and Centennial Park. According to the Utah attorney general's office, this was not the first time Jeffs was accused of expelling men from the community; as many as 400 young men are estimated to have been expelled by Jeffs from 2001–2006. Most were removed for failing to follow Jeffs' rules, or for dating women without his permission. Many of these expelled men and boys were very naïve and sheltered, often wound up homeless in nearby towns such as Hurricane, Utah and St. George, Utah. Jeffs was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and eventually arrested on August 28, 2006.
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