How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Eielson Afb Alaska
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Eielson Afb AK is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Eielson Afb AK practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Eielson Afb AK dental practice and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Eielson Afb AK area community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Eielson Afb AK area community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a good option for obtaining your training. 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 by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Eielson Afb AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning 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 alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Eielson Afb AK area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Eielson Afb AK frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Alaska school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, the majority of Eielson Afb AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Eielson Afb AK program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Eielson Afb AK dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene colleges need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eielson Afb AK dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Alaska schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Eielson Afb AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Eielson Afb AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Hygienist?When preparing to interview for a Dental Hygienist job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Hygienist candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Hygiene, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near Eielson Afb AK
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Eielson Afb AK.
A Bit About Eielson Afb Alaska
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Colonel David A. Mineau.
Eielson is home to the 354th Fighter Wing which is part of the Eleventh Air Force (11 AF) of Pacific Air Forces. The 354th Fighter Wing mission is "To train, deliver, maintain and support combat power across the globe while taking care of our people, their families and our infrastructure." To accomplish that mission, the wing implements flying operations, mission support, maintenance and medical care functions and is host to 10 tenant units.
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