How to Become a Dental Assistant in West Lafayette Ohio
Choosing the right dental assistant program near West Lafayette OH is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in West Lafayette OH
Dental assistants are an important part of any West Lafayette OH dental practice and can carry out a variety of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Ohio dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near West Lafayette OH
Dental assistant programs are provided at Ohio junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Ohio community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of 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 sponsor internships with West Lafayette OH dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your West Lafayette OH home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Ohio programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the West Lafayette OH area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in West Lafayette OH often prefer 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 provided for non-accredited Ohio colleges.
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 West Lafayette OH school you choose offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the West Lafayette OH area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional West Lafayette OH dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the West Lafayette OH dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the West Lafayette OH area colleges you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in West Lafayette OH.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your West Lafayette OH home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near West Lafayette OH?
Following is some interesting background information about West Lafayette Ohio that you may find helpful.
West Lafayette, Ohio
West Lafayette was laid out in 1850 by Robert Shaw and William Wheeler. In 1855, the Steubenville and Indiana Railroad was built through the new town. The line became known as the Panhandle Route and was operated in the Pennsylvania Railroad system and currently by the Columbus and Ohio River Railroad (Ohio Central Railroad System). Tragedy struck this track on September 11, 1950 when the crack passenger train "Spirit of St. Louis" hit another train carrying 600 men of the 109th Field Artillery Battalion of the Pennsylvania National Guard. 33 men were killed. A memorial was placed near the site of the accident in 1990. A 105mm howitzer is at the memorial also, commemorating the manufacture of 105mm shells at Moore Enamelling across the tracks during WWII.
The village was once known as the "Enamel Center of the World". Before plastics were invented, steel vessels covered with a ceramic called enamelware were the norm in American homes. In 1903 the Lafayette Stamping and Enameling Co. was founded. Moore Enameling and Jones Metal also manufactured enamelware. Jones Metal remains. Another industry is Yankee Wire, manufacturer of wire screens.
The village is built upon a level plain in the Tuscarawas River valley and is surrounded by forested hills and agricultural valleys. The Ohio Central Railroad passes through the town. Immediately north of the village is U.S. Route 36. Both of these are major arteries connecting Columbus with points east.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant School near West Lafayette OH
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in West Lafayette OH.
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