How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Program near Brewton Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant college near Brewton AL is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest 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 money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss 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 explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Brewton AL dental office and can undertake a multitude of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. 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. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main 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 assisting the Brewton AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After 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 and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned 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 assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Brewton AL dental practices are usually required to hold 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 Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Brewton AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper 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 best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Brewton AL area schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Brewton AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama school you select has 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, many Brewton 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 a good 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides enough 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, confirm that the Brewton AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Brewton 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 are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 Brewton AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Brewton AL area programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Brewton 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 will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Brewton AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What made you choose Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Brewton AL
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Brewton AL.
Tell Me About Brewton Alabama
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle. Brewton has been voted one of the 100 best small towns in America.
In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.
During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber opened the way for creation of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to the Gulf.
Brewton was known in past times as "the richest little town in the South." Brewton's high per capita income was created by a small number of "timber barons," as they are remembered, who arrived at the end of the last century to cut pine and stayed to build extraordinary homes along Belleville and Evergreen avenues. These families include the McMillans and the Millers, many of whom still reside in the town.
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