How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Marana Arizona
Selecting the ideal dental assistant college near Marana AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Marana AZ dental office and can perform a variety of functions. Their principal job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably 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 supporting the Marana AZ practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about 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 graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Arizona community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Marana AZ dental offices are usually 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a great option for obtaining your training. 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 provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Marana AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office 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 dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Marana AZ area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Marana AZ typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Arizona school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Marana AZ dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Marana AZ area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Marana AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Marana AZ dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Marana AZ area colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Marana AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Marana AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What made you select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Marana AZ
Choosing the right dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount 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 schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Marana AZ.
Tell Me About Marana Arizona
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 121.4 square miles (313.6 km²), of which, 120.7 square miles (312.3 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (1.22%) is water.
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