How to Become a Dental Assistant in Wallingford Connecticut
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Wallingford CT is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Wallingford CT
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Wallingford CT dental office and can perform a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of 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).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Wallingford CT
Dental assistant courses are offered at Connecticut junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Connecticut trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Wallingford CT dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Wallingford CT home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Connecticut programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Wallingford CT area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Wallingford CT typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Connecticut schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Wallingford CT college you decide on offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Wallingford CT area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Wallingford CT dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wallingford CT dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Wallingford CT area colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one 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 experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wallingford CT.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Wallingford CT home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Wallingford CT?
Following is some interesting background information about Wallingford Connecticut that you may find helpful.
Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 45,135 at the 2010 census. The urban center of the town is the Wallingford Center census-designated place, with a population of 18,209 at the 2010 census. The community was named after Wallingford, in England.
The Connecticut General Assembly created the town on October 10, 1667. This original plot of land near the Quinnipiac River is now considered Main Street. Starting on May 12, 1670 there were 126 people who lived in temporary housing, and five years later in 1675 there were 40 permanent homes.
Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high-technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the medical, health care, service, high-tech specialty metal manufacturing and research development. The development of the Barnes Industrial Park, Casimir Pulaski Industrial Park, Wharton Brook Industrial Park, and the South Turnpike Road area have greatly contributed to this transition. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the town’s largest taxpayer, has established a research and development facility in Wallingford’s MedWay Industrial Park. An Interchange Zone which permits very restrictive commercial development of office parks, research and development centers and hotels has been created at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant Program near Wallingford CT
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wallingford CT.
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