How to Become a Dental Assistant in Waterville Maine
Picking the right dental assistant school near Waterville ME is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months 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 accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in Waterville ME
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Waterville ME dental practice and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Maine dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than 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) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Waterville ME
Dental assistant courses are available at Maine junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Maine 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 practical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Waterville ME dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant program may be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Waterville ME home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Maine schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Waterville ME area colleges you are looking at 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 final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Waterville ME typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Maine colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Waterville ME college you select has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because 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 primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Waterville ME area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Waterville ME dental practice. They make it easier for 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? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 Waterville ME dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Waterville ME area schools you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Waterville ME.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Waterville ME home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Waterville ME?
Following is some interesting background information about Waterville Maine that you may find helpful.
Waterville is a city in Kennebec County of the U.S. state of Maine, United States, on the west bank of the Kennebec River. Home to Colby College and Thomas College, the population was 16,406 at the 2016 census. Waterville is also the latter of the cities which make up the Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Waterville has a Mayor and council-manager form of government, led by a mayor and a seven-member city council. The city council is the governing board, and the city manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, responsible for the management of all City affairs. The city is also home to Fox affiliate WPFO and Daystar rebroadcaster WFYW-LP both serving the Portland market and to several radio stations including Colby's WMHB, country WEBB, adult standards WTVL and MPBN on 91.3 FM. The film Wet Hot American Summer is set in Waterville.
The area now known as Waterville was once inhabited by the Canibas tribe of Abenaki (Indigenous People). Called Taconnet after Chief Taconnet, the main village was located on the east bank of the Kennebec River at its confluence with the Sebasticook River at what is now Winslow. Known as Ticonic by English settlers, it was burned in 1692 during King William's War, after which the Canibas tribe abandoned the area. Fort Halifax was built by General John Winslow in 1754, and the last skirmish with Indigenous peoples occurred on May 18, 1757.
Select the Best Dental Assistant Program near Waterville ME
Picking the right dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Waterville ME.
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After you complete your dental assistant training, get certified in radiography. The majority of x-ray technicians complete their Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) certification. The exam will focus on anatomy, radiography facts, and safety procedures. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is the accrediting institution.
Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation - Maine
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Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Step 1: Earn a high school diploma or GED (four years). High school students wishing to pursue a career in dental assisting must first earn a high school diploma or a general education diploma (GED).Students should consider taking as many math and science courses as possible to prepare for college-level coursework and may want ...
Dental hygienist - Wikipedia
A dental hygienist or oral hygienist is a licensed dental professional, registered with a dental association or regulatory body within their country of practice. Prior to completing clinical and written board examinations, registered dental hygienists must have either an Associate's or bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene from an accredited college or university.