How to Select a Dental Assistant Program near Hanceville Alabama
Picking the right dental assistant training near Hanceville AL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors 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 explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Hanceville AL dental practice 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 running efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ 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 certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly 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 Hanceville AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Hanceville AL dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Hanceville AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Hanceville AL area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Hanceville AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama college you select offers the program that you want. 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, a large number of Hanceville AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school 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 hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Hanceville AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Hanceville AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Hanceville AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Hanceville AL area colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Hanceville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Hanceville AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Hanceville AL
Picking the right dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Hanceville AL.
Tell Me About Hanceville Alabama
Founded in Blount County, Hanceville was incorporated in May 1879. At the time of Cullman County's creation in 1877, half of Hanceville resided in each county. In 1885, county boundaries were redrawn and all of Hanceville was placed within Blount County. In 1901, county boundaries were redrawn again and this time all of the town was placed within Cullman County, for which it has remained.
Hanceville is located in southeastern Cullman County at 34°3′48″N 86°45′39″W / 34.06333°N 86.76083°W / 34.06333; -86.76083 (34.063463, -86.760908).U.S. Route 31 passes through the city, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Cullman, the county seat, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Smoke Rise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,951 people, 1,167 households, and 710 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.6 people per square mile (277.2/km²). There were 1,323 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 4.61% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,167 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84.
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