Getting into a Dental Assistant program & then becoming a Dental Hygienist?

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Lisa011 in Dundee, Illinois

45 months ago

I'm thinking about going to this School called First Institute they Offer a 11 month Dental Assistant Program,
After I were to graduate from their I could start working as a Dental Assistant but eventually I would like to become a Dental Hygienist but then I'd have to go back to school and it would take a while to get a Degree in Dental Hygiene
Im wondering if the Dental assistant program would just be a waste of time & money?
the only thing Im afraid of is getting into the Dental Hygiene program I did hear classes are hard and with the dental assistant you get Clinical experience right away which also helps you decided if this is something you reall want to do.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

45 months ago

Lisa011 in Dundee, Illinois said: I'm thinking about going to this School called First Institute they Offer a 11 month Dental Assistant Program,
After I were to graduate from their I could start working as a Dental Assistant but eventually I would like to become a Dental Hygienist but then I'd have to go back to school and it would take a while to get a Degree in Dental Hygiene
Im wondering if the Dental assistant program would just be a waste of time & money?
the only thing Im afraid of is getting into the Dental Hygiene program I did hear classes are hard and with the dental assistant you get Clinical experience right away which also helps you decided if this is something you reall want to do.

Lisa, Please read further on here as to the many employment situations...many newbie's are finding it difficult to find any work...P.S. DA's tend to get the elusive benefit pkg's that the RDH's may never see. More than not the RDH's are finding it hard to even find a SET 1 day of work...and so many are in the field now that, being a colleague may be a disguise (1 job listing = 100 resumes easily), so they may take the DA pay even though they are licensed and their education deserves a "fair" pay....jobs that are constantly online or in the papers...are repetitive for a reason. Tell me are you good at selling? It's what many of us have to do nowadays...not suggest products but SELL...speak with your own RDH and PT RDH's, temp ag's to see what the market really IS in your area....the schools, online articles, Govt/BLS....don't know our situation and/or the other are a business so they will sell their program...to keep THEIR jobs...really do your research for any field beyond the internet. If you have an "IN" at an office that is willing to wait for you to be licensed as an RDH ultimately, then go for it...but if not...it's tough...GL in your research and career.

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future_rdh in West L.A., California

45 months ago

Lisa011 in Dundee, Illinois said: I'm thinking about going to this School called First Institute they Offer a 11 month Dental Assistant Program,
After I were to graduate from their I could start working as a Dental Assistant but eventually I would like to become a Dental Hygienist but then I'd have to go back to school and it would take a while to get a Degree in Dental Hygiene
Im wondering if the Dental assistant program would just be a waste of time & money?
the only thing Im afraid of is getting into the Dental Hygiene program I did hear classes are hard and with the dental assistant you get Clinical experience right away which also helps you decided if this is something you reall want to do.

Lisa, going to school to be a dental assistant would be a great idea. You will learn certain things that a dental hygienist will know as well. So, when the time comes to go to dental hygiene school, you'll be a step ahead. Make sure you study really hard in DA school because the knowledge you gain there will help you towards your DH degree. I'm not sure how Illinois works, but in CA, you're able to become a Registered Dental Assistant. If Illinois has this, make sure you become a RDA or in some states, they are called CDA. This will allow you to do more. Maintain a close relationship with your dental office and you might be able to find work there once you graduate with your DH degree. Something that I do recommend... get a bachelor's degree if possible. Like many have stated, there is little work right now. Maybe by the time you graduate, there will be a lot of work for a dental hygienist, BUT if you have a higher degree, you can find work easily. :)

Oh! And it is NOT waste of time becoming a dental assistant first. Best thing you can do, in my opinion.

Good luck!! :)

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

45 months ago

RDH positions are difficult to find now; but by taking DA training you may find an RDH position more readily. IT IS EXPENSIVE TO TRAIN, so the more skills you have pertaining to the "dental field, overall, the better your chances are of obtaining and "keeping" a position. To Future RDH...it's very hard to find work...I am in the field at present you are in school. Do you believe everything else online and what your school tells you...I hope not. P.S. To all students...GL in finding a decent employer and "fair" pay/days/hours...we all want this; really look into programs to market yourself beyond DH school...it is very competitive, yes, but in some cases cut throat. 24yr VET

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Unsure in Brandon, Florida

44 months ago

I am also looking into several different programs offered at my local community college. I have found several online programs through the "Continuing Education" classes including a clinical dental assistant. My concern is that the dental assistant course is an online only course- no actual classroom or clinical time. I spoke to a hygienist at a local office and she said that a person with an online degree would probably not get hired. I'm wondering if this is true. I'm seriously considering this option and other classes such as pharmacy tech, EKG tech and Phlebotomy tech because they all cost less than $3,000, have nighttime or some without even class time, and will take less than 6 months to complete. I tend to trust the credibility of the school because it is a community college, not a private school; but am unsure if they will actually give me the skills needed for a career. I'm also concerned about getting hired with only an online or short class behind whichever certificate I receive. Am I right to be concerned or is the certificate and a passing grade enough to get me to the career I want and need?

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Amy E in Houston, Texas

29 months ago

I would definitely go to school to become a DA if I were you. It is a great stepping stone, and when you find work you can start to think about moving forward with school. I found a dental assisting program when I lived in California at www.dbc.ca.gov/ and there may be a similar site for you in Illinois.
After a few months working as a DA, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I started researching dental schools. I found this site (dentaldegree.org/) that was really great when it came time to compare schools and programs. I could not be happier with my decision, but it really is an individual choice. Good Luck!

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Amy E in Houston, Texas

29 months ago

I would definitely go to school to become a DA if I were you. It is a great stepping stone, and when you find work you can start to think about moving forward with school. I found a dental assisting program when I lived in California at www.dbc.ca.gov/ and there may be a similar site for you in Illinois.
After a few months working as a DA, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I started researching dental schools. I found this site (dentaldegree.org/) that was really great when it came time to compare schools and programs. I could not be happier with my decision, but it really is an individual choice. Good Luck!

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Jodelle in Morris Plains, New Jersey

10 months ago

I JUST WANT TO GRADUATE!!!!! in Houston, Texas said: I was also looking into taking the Dental Assisting program at a local Everest or Kaplan University, however the program at my local state college 's "Continueing Education " program is A LOT cheaper.... like 15,000-20,000 dollars cheaper! My only worry is that the program at my local state funded college is only 10 weeks long where as the programs at Everest and Kaplan are 9 months? Should I go with the accelerated program or stick with the pricey schools?

I have the same problem in NJ. What should you to take the cheaper short cheaper classes or take the longer course cost more? Is really that hard to get a job? I'm on disability from work not making a lot due to an injury at work. I worked at a big box store have a high rate of pay but not a lot of hours. I'm looking for a new career that stable that 4o hours a weeks. Was thing dental assistant maybe or healthcare administration or billing coding any thoughts. Just don't have a lot of money or time to spend on school because not sure when this disability is ending or when I'm getting losing my job.

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