How to Become a Dental Assistant in Whitmore Lake Michigan
Picking the right dental assistant program near Whitmore Lake MI is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally 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. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will discuss 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 duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Whitmore Lake MI
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Whitmore Lake MI dental practice and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Michigan 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 provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Whitmore Lake MI
Dental assistant courses are available at Michigan junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take 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 Michigan vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Whitmore Lake MI dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Whitmore Lake MI home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed 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 dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Michigan programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Whitmore Lake MI area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Whitmore Lake MI frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Michigan schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Whitmore Lake MI college you decide on has the program that you want. 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 school may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Whitmore Lake MI area college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Whitmore Lake MI 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Whitmore Lake MI dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Whitmore Lake MI area programs you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Whitmore Lake MI.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Whitmore Lake MI home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Whitmore Lake MI?
Following is some interesting background information about Whitmore Lake Michigan that you may find helpful.
Whitmore Lake, Michigan
Whitmore Lake is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in the U.S. state of Michigan. The community spans the boundary between Green Oak Township in Livingston County and Northfield Township in Washtenaw County. The United States Census Bureau has defined a census-designated place (CDP) with this name for statistical purposes, which has no legal status as an incorporated municipality. The population was 6,423 at the 2010 census.
The community is located about 9 miles (14 km) north of Ann Arbor and about 9 miles (14 km) south of Brighton. It is situated around the shores of Whitmore Lake, and the CDP also includes the area around the smaller Horseshoe Lake to the south, Lawton Lake to the east and Monahan Lake to the northeast. U.S. Highway 23 forms the western edge of much of the CDP.
The Whitmore Lake post office, with ZIP code 48189, serves a larger area than that defined by the CDP and includes portions of southeast Hamburg Township, northeastern Webster Township, and larger parts of Green Oak and Northfield Townships than are included in the CDP.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Whitmore Lake MI
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Whitmore Lake MI.
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