How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Wrightsville Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Wrightsville GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Wrightsville GA dental office and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many 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 Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Wrightsville GA practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- 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 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. 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 and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wrightsville GA dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Georgia trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Wrightsville GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Wrightsville GA area schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Wrightsville GA typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Georgia school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Wrightsville GA dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Wrightsville GA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Wrightsville GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wrightsville GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Wrightsville GA area programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if 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 examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Wrightsville GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Wrightsville GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant School near Wrightsville GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wrightsville GA.
Tell Me About Wrightsville Georgia
Wrightsville is a city in Johnson County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,223 at the 2000 census. Wrightsville was established February 23, 1886 and was named for John B. Wright, one of the members of the committee responsible for selecting the site for the town. The city is the county seat of Johnson County.
Wrightsville is part of the Dublin Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Wrightsville is located at 32°43′30″N 82°43′13″W / 32.72500°N 82.72028°W / 32.72500; -82.72028 (32.725126, -82.720289).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.72%) is water.
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