How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Daphne Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant training near Daphne AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Daphne AL dental office and can perform a myriad of functions. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Daphne AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Daphne AL dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of 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 dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Daphne AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Daphne AL area schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Daphne AL often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alabama school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, a large number of Daphne AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Daphne AL area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Daphne AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Daphne AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Daphne AL area schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college 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 Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Daphne AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Daphne AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant College near Daphne AL
Picking the right dental assistant course is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Daphne AL.
Tell Me About Daphne Alabama
Daphne (/ˈdæfniː/) is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay. The city is located along I-10, 11 miles east of Mobile and 170 miles southwest of the state capital of Montgomery. The 2010 United States Census lists the population of the city as 21,570, making Daphne the most populous city in Baldwin County. It is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
The inhabited history of what is now called Daphne dates at least to the Paleo-Indian period and Native American tribes around 9000 BC. Modern-day Daphne is a thriving suburb of nearby Mobile. Daphne has adopted the nickname ″The Jubilee City″ in recognition of its status as one of the locations of the Mobile Bay jubilee. The only other place jubilees occur is in Tokyo Bay.
Daphne and the surrounding regions have been populated since from at least 9,000 BCE. European settlers eventually displaced the Native Americans. After a variety of wars and treaties the area became part of the United States in 1814. Except for a period under the flag of the Confederate States of America, Daphne and its environs have remained part of the United States until this time. From Native American, to the Spanish, French and British, the city has seen a lengthy parade of historic influences which gives Daphne its present character.
Early settlers to the region were hunter-gatherer tribes similar to those in North Alabama. A variety of Native American populations visited the area that would become Daphne including Tensaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. This area came to be known as neutral ground where tribes would meet and discuss the relationships between their nations. Small groups worked together to acquire food and to provide for their families. Initially, these groups enjoyed an economy based upon hunting and scavenging but as time passed production of weapons and pottery became more advanced. During the late Woodland stage Native Americans began to practice more elaborate ritual services. Although no burial grounds are known in Daphne, they are scattered throughout nearby Baldwin County.
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