How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Granby Connecticut
Selecting the right dental assistant program near West Granby CT is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of Dental Assistants in West Granby CT
Dental assistants are an important component of any West Granby CT dental practice and can perform a multitude of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Connecticut dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near West Granby CT
Dental assistant programs are offered at Connecticut junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with West Granby CT dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your West Granby CT home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Connecticut schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the West Granby CT area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in West Granby CT typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually 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 make sure that the West Granby CT college you select offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers 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, verify that the West Granby CT area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real West Granby CT dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing 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 West Granby CT dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the West Granby CT area schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses 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 include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in West Granby CT.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your West Granby CT home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near West Granby CT?
Following is some interesting background information about West Granby Connecticut that you may find helpful.
Granby is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 11,282 at the 2010 census. The town center is defined as a census-designated place known as Salmon Brook. Other areas in town include North Granby and West Granby. Granby is a rural town, located in the foothills of the Litchfield Hills of the Berkshires, besides the suburban natured center, the outskirts of town are filled with dense woods and rolling hills and mountains. From the 1890s to the 1920s a large number of immigrants from Sweden came to reside in the town.
Granby was founded by people who lived in Simsbury and settled as early as 1723. Granby was part of Simsbury until 1786, when it became independent. The name is from Granby, Massachusetts in return, where it was named in honor of John Manners, Marquess of Granby.
Part of Southwick, Massachusetts, known as "the Notch" seceded from Massachusetts in 1774, just before the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. This territory became part of Granby when it seceded from Simsbury, but was returned to Southwick as part of an 1803-4 border dispute compromise. (See History of Massachusetts.)
Pick the Best Dental Assistant Program near West Granby CT
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire 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 usually require about one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in West Granby CT.
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