How to Become a Dental Assistant in Woolwich Maine
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Woolwich ME is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials 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 usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations 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 roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Woolwich ME
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Woolwich ME dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Maine dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Woolwich ME
Dental assistant programs are provided at Maine junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Maine 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 as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Woolwich ME dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Woolwich ME home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Maine schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Woolwich ME area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school 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 Woolwich ME typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Maine programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Woolwich ME college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Woolwich ME area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Woolwich ME dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Woolwich ME dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Woolwich ME area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Woolwich ME.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Woolwich ME home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, 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 due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Woolwich ME?
Following is some interesting background information about Woolwich Maine that you may find helpful.
Woolwich is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,072 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. Woolwich is a suburb of the city of Bath located on the opposite shore of Merrymeeting Bay.
Called Nequasset after Nequasset lake by Abenaki Indians, it was first settled in 1638 by Edward Bateman and John Brown. They would purchase the land in 1639 from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, who lived near Nequasset Falls. At Day's Ferry on the Kennebec River, Richard Hammond operated a fortified trading post. His household of 16, including servants, workmen and stepchildren, conducted a lucrative fur trade with the Indians. But in the first blow of King Philip's War in the area, on the evening of August 13, 1676, warriors ingratiated themselves into the stockaded trading post, then killed the elderly Hammond and his stepson as they returned for the night. Others were either slain and scalped or taken into captivity. Buildings were looted and burned, and the cattle slain.
Nequasset was attacked during King William's War, when inhabitants were again massacred or forced to abandon their homes. It was assailed again in 1723 during Dummer's War, when the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from Canada, incited by the French missionary Sebastien Rale, burned dwellings and killed cattle. Following Governor William Dummer's peace treaty of 1725, resettlement would be slow. During the French and Indian War, on June 9, 1758, Indians raided the village, killing members of the Preble family and taking others prisoner to Quebec. This incident became known as the last conflict on the Kennebec River.
Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Woolwich ME
Choosing the right 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 several alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Woolwich ME.
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