How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Arlington Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Arlington AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Arlington AL dental practice and can undertake a multitude of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Arlington AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first 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 carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. 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 courses are available at Alabama junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Arlington AL dental offices are generally required to hold 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 Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. 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 dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Arlington AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Arlington AL area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Arlington AL frequently desire or require that new hires 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 Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama college you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Arlington AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Arlington AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Arlington AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Arlington AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Arlington AL area programs you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger 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 leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Arlington AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Arlington AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What made you decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Arlington AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Arlington AL.
Tell Me About Arlington Alabama
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. In 2016, the county's population was estimated at 230,050, making it the sixth-largest county in Virginia, or the fourth-largest city if it were incorporated as such. It is the 5th highest-income county in the U.S. by median family income, and has the highest concentration of singles in the region.
The county is coterminous with the U.S. Census Bureau's census-designated place of Arlington. Though a county, it is also treated as the second-largest principal city of the Washington metropolitan area.
The county is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River directly across from Washington, D.C., of which it was once a part. With a land area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Arlington is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the U.S., and by reason of state law regarding population density, has no incorporated towns within its borders. Due to the county's proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington is home to many important installations for the capital region and U.S. government, including the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery. Many schools and universities have campuses in Arlington, most prominently the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University.
The area that now constitutes Arlington County was originally part of Fairfax County in the Colony of Virginia. Land grants from the British monarch were awarded to prominent Englishmen in exchange for political favors and efforts at development. One of the grantees was Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who lends his name to both Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. The county's name "Arlington" comes via Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, a Plantation along the Potomac River, and Arlington House, the family residence on that property. (Ultimately, the name is a variant of Harlington, London, seat of the first Baron of Arlington; it in turn derives from Hygerǣd, an Anglo-Saxon noble's name.) George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of First Lady Martha Washington, acquired this land in 1802. The estate was eventually passed down to Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of General Robert E. Lee. The property later became Arlington National Cemetery during the American Civil War, and eventually lent its name to present-day Arlington County.
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