How to Become a Dental Assistant in Windham Maine
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Windham ME is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving 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 finish 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. Naturally with the longer training comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Windham ME
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Windham ME dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Maine dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Windham ME
Dental assistant courses are provided at Maine junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Maine community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Windham ME dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant program may be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Windham ME home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Maine schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Windham ME area colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Windham ME often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Maine programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Windham ME school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because 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 college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could 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 best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides enough 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, make sure that the Windham ME area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Windham ME dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Windham ME dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Windham ME area programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Windham ME.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Windham 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Windham ME?
Following is some interesting background information about Windham Maine that you may find helpful.
Windham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 17,001 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of South Windham and North Windham. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The township was granted in 1734 by the Massachusetts General Court to Abraham Howard, Joseph Blaney and 58 others from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1737, New Marblehead Plantation was settled by Captain Thomas Chute. By order of the Massachusetts General Court, a fort was built in spring of 1744 on a hill in the southern part of town near the early center of settlement to offer protection during King George's War. A 50-foot square blockhouse constructed of 12-inch thick hewn hemlock had an overhanging second story with firing ports and two swivel guns in watch posts on diagonal corners. The blockhouse was surrounded by a stockade wall of 12-inch diameter log posts 16 feet long. The single gate through the stockade wall was covered by a 4.2-inch (11 cm) bore 9-pounder cannon within the blockhouse.
The town's inhabitants took shelter in the stockade between 1745 and 1751. The last Indian attack on the town occurred on May 14, 1756. New Marblehead Plantation was incorporated on June 12, 1762 as Windham, named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England. Windham Minutemen marched to Portland in response to the Burning of Falmouth on 18 October 1775 and sixteen men were drafted from the town for the Penobscot Expedition. Thirteen Windham men are reported as being members of the Continental Army with George Washington's American Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge. Windham's 9-pounder cannon and one swivel gun from the stockade blockhouse were loaned to Portland in 1775. Portland had refused to surrender these guns to Captain Henry Mowat as he demanded before he burned the town; and they were placed aboard the privateer Reprieve in 1776.
Select the Best Dental Assistant Program near Windham ME
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Windham ME.
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