How to Select a Dental Assistant School near Glennallen Alaska
Picking the right dental assistant training near Glennallen AK is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving 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 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Glennallen AK dental practice and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- 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 vary by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Glennallen AK practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When 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 provided at Alaska junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Glennallen AK dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Alaska community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant program may be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Glennallen 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 accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Glennallen AK area colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Glennallen AK often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Alaska programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alaska college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Glennallen AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Glennallen AK area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Glennallen AK dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching 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 Glennallen AK dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Glennallen AK area programs you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness 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 differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Glennallen AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Glennallen AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you choose Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Glennallen AK
Choosing the right dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Glennallen AK.
Tell Me About Glennallen Alaska
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 114.9 square miles (298 km2), of which, 114.1 square miles (296 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (0.66%) is water.
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