How to Become a Dental Assistant in Woodbury Connecticut
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Woodbury CT is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in Woodbury CT
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Woodbury CT dental office and can undertake a multitude of functions. Their main job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping 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 Connecticut dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Woodbury CT
Dental assistant programs are offered at Connecticut community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Connecticut trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of 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 offer internships with Woodbury CT dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant course may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Woodbury CT home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting 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 proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Connecticut schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Woodbury CT area colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Woodbury CT frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Connecticut programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Woodbury CT school you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all 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 dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Woodbury CT area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Woodbury CT 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 assistant schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Woodbury CT dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Woodbury CT area colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Woodbury CT.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Woodbury CT home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Woodbury CT?
Following is some interesting background information about Woodbury Connecticut that you may find helpful.
Woodbury is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 9,975 at the 2010 census. The town center is also designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Woodbury was founded in 1673.
The center of Woodbury is distinctive because, unlike many New England towns, it is not nucleated. In Woodbury, the older buildings are arrayed in linear fashion along both sides of a road that stretches for over a mile. The public buildings in the National Register Historic District include the First Congregational Church (1818), the Old Town Hall (1846), the United Methodist Church, the St. Paul's Episcopal Church (1785), and the North Congregational Church (1816).
The most notable of the public buildings is the Masonic Temple (1839). It is a modest, clapboard, Greek Revival temple, notable less for its architecture than for its dramatic location, situated atop a high cliff accessed by a long flight of steps (there is a modern road at the rear). It is visible from a distance and is especially dramatic at night, when it is illuminated by spotlights. The Woodbury Temple echoes the many temples of the Greek world that were perched at the edge of high places from which they could be seen from miles around and from far out at sea.
Select the Best Dental Assistant Program near Woodbury CT
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about one year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided 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 Woodbury CT.
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