How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Craig Alaska
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Craig AK is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. 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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Craig AK practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may 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
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Craig AK dental practice and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing 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 differ by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Craig AK area community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Craig AK area trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Craig AK home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community 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 method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Craig AK area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Craig AK often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alaska programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alaska college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Craig AK dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Craig AK school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Craig 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 Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Craig AK dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Alaska colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Craig AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Craig AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Hygienist prospects is "What drove you to choose Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Hygiene, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Craig AK
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Craig AK.
A Bit About Craig Alaska
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
Craig has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb).
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