How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Woodstock Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant program near Woodstock GA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Woodstock GA dental office and can perform a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most 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 a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job 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 dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Woodstock GA practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Woodstock GA dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Georgia trade schools and community colleges. 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 dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Woodstock GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish 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 checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Woodstock GA area colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Woodstock GA typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Georgia programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Georgia college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Woodstock GA dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep 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 college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Woodstock GA area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Woodstock GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Woodstock GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Woodstock GA area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Woodstock GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Woodstock GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant Program near Woodstock GA
Selecting the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount 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 schools typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Woodstock GA.
Tell Me About Woodstock Georgia
Woodstock is a city in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 23,896 at the 2010 census. Originally a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Woodstock is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007 it was the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the United States.
Woodstock is located in southern Cherokee County at 34°6′5″N 84°31′10″W / 34.10139°N 84.51944°W / 34.10139; -84.51944 (34.100731, -84.518972).Interstate 575 passes through the western side of the city, with access from exits 7, 8, and 9. Downtown Atlanta is 30 miles (48 km) to the south, and Canton, the Cherokee County seat, is 11 miles (18 km) north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Woodstock has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.92%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,896 people, 9,580 households, and 6,137 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,715.4 people per square mile (1043.5/km²). There were 10,298 housing units at an average density of 1170.2 per square mile (449.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.3% White, 10.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.7% of the population.
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