How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Atqasuk Alaska
Selecting the right dental hygienist training near Atqasuk AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Atqasuk AK practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Atqasuk AK dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Atqasuk AK area junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 Atqasuk AK area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Atqasuk AK home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Atqasuk AK area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Atqasuk AK typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alaska programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alaska college you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living 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, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Atqasuk AK college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Atqasuk AK dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form 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 hygiene schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Atqasuk AK dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Alaska schools you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Atqasuk AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Atqasuk AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygiene position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask Dental Hygienist applicants is "What made you select Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Hygiene, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors 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 profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Atqasuk AK
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend 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 in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Atqasuk AK.
A Bit About Atqasuk Alaska
Atqasuk (Inupiaq pronunciation: [ɐtqɐsuk]) is a city in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 228 at the 2000 census and 233 as of the 2010 census.
Atqasuk is located at 70°28′40″N 157°25′05″W / 70.47778°N 157.41806°W / 70.47778; -157.41806 (70.477663, -157.418056).
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 has one airport, Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr. Memorial Airport, that is uncontrolled and has a single 4,370-by-90-foot (1,332 by 27 m) runway at an elevation of 96 feet (29 m).
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