How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Elmendorf Afb Alaska
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Elmendorf Afb AK is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
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 previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Elmendorf Afb AK practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Elmendorf Afb AK dental practice and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Elmendorf Afb AK area community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Elmendorf Afb AK area community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Elmendorf Afb AK home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
When you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Elmendorf Afb AK area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Elmendorf Afb AK often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited Alaska colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Alaska college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Elmendorf Afb AK dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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 only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Elmendorf Afb AK program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Elmendorf Afb AK dental practice. They make it easier for 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene colleges need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Elmendorf Afb AK dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Alaska schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Elmendorf Afb AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Elmendorf Afb AK home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Hygienist?When prepping to interview for a Dental Hygiene job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask Dental Hygienist applicants is "What drove you to pick Hygiene as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Hygiene, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Hygienist and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Elmendorf Afb AK
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Elmendorf Afb AK.
A Bit About Elmendorf 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 Col. Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16 C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
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