How to Become a Dental Assistant in Wixom Michigan
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program near Wixom MI is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Wixom MI
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Wixom MI dental office and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Michigan dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of 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 Wixom MI
Dental assistant programs are available at Michigan community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take 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 Michigan 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 component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Wixom MI dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Wixom MI home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Michigan programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Wixom MI area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Wixom MI frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited Michigan programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Wixom MI school you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Wixom MI area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Wixom MI dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need help obtaining 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 Wixom MI dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Wixom MI area schools you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wixom MI.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Wixom MI home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Wixom MI?
Following is some interesting background information about Wixom Michigan that you may find helpful.
Wixom is a city that lies in the borders of northwest Novi and southwest Commerce Township in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 13,498 at the 2010 census. The city was home to the former Wixom Assembly Plant, which produced the Lincoln LS, the Ford Thunderbird, the Ford GT, and the Lincoln Town Car. The plant closed its doors on May 31, 2007.
Wixom is home to several production and manufacturing businesses, including Trijicon, a leading manufacturer of night gun sights and night telescopic sights; Discraft, a leading manufacturer of flying discs for disc sports games like Ultimate; the U.S. headquarters of spark plug manufacturer NGK; Majic Window, the worlds largest distributor of fiberglass replacement home windows; MAC Valves, Inc., a manufacturer of pneumatic valves used in the automotive and packaging industries, and Foster Specialty Floors the state's largest and oldest sports flooring contractor.
The settlement of Wixom dates back to the 1830s. The establishment of Wixom as a place started in the early 1870s when the Holly, Wayne and Monroe Railroad was constructed through the area. Willard Wixom platted land on either side of the railroad near the Novi and Commerce Township border. The construction of a railroad depot and the naming of the area as Wixom fixed Wixom as a destination.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant School near Wixom MI
Picking the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training 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 generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wixom MI.
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