How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Training Program near Carrollton Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Carrollton AL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Carrollton AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly 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 assisting the Carrollton AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Carrollton AL dental offices are normally 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 Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant college can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Carrollton AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Carrollton AL area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Carrollton AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama college you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Carrollton AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical 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 subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Carrollton AL area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Carrollton AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Carrollton AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Carrollton AL area programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Carrollton AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near your Carrollton AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, 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 need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Carrollton AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Carrollton AL.
Tell Me About Carrollton Alabama
Carrollton is a town in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,019, up from 987 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Pickens County.
The Pickens County Courthouse in the center of Carrollton was erected in 1877. The first courthouse in Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865 by troops of Union General John T. Croxton. A second courthouse was also destroyed by fire on November 16, 1876.
Incorporated in 1831, the town was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the only Roman Catholic and longest-living signer of the Declaration of Independence. A post office has been in operation at Carrollton since 1831. John Gibson, a negro was lynched in Carrolton on August 28, 1907.
Carrollton is located at 33°15′39″N 88°5′40″W / 33.26083°N 88.09444°W / 33.26083; -88.09444 (33.260858, -88.094452).
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