How to Choose a Dental Assistant Training Program near Graysville Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Graysville AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Graysville AL dental office and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ 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) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant 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 assisting the Graysville AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each 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 duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 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, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Graysville AL dental practices are generally required to have 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Graysville AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Graysville AL area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Graysville AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alabama school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, many Graysville AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Graysville AL area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Graysville AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Graysville AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Graysville AL area programs you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Graysville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Graysville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Best Dental Assistant College near Graysville AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Graysville AL.
Tell Me About Graysville Alabama
Graysville is a city in northwestern Jefferson County, Alabama, United States, located north of Adamsville. At the 2010 census the population was 2,165.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this city was called Gin Town. Because it had the only cotton gin for miles around, the community grew. It incorporated as Graysville initially in 1897. As the town grew, the need for businesses and houses of worship grew as well. One street over from this site, the Union Church was established in the early 1900s. All people of all denominations met and worshiped there as it was the only church for miles around. In 1927, the town charter was revoked on the grounds of "inactivity."
This city was reincorporated on November 17, 1945. The first meeting of the town council took place at the old school house on January 16, 1946. Later that year, the original city council established the Graysville Water Works system. In 1949, the city council established the Graysville Gas Board which eventually became the Graysville Municipal Gas System. During the 1950s and 1960s, the local coal mines and steel mills attracted families from all over Alabama. As a result of this growth, Graysville established the City’s first series of home developments and subdivisions. During the 1980s and 1990s, Graysville expanded its city limits by annexing multiple acres in what was then unincorporated in Jefferson County.
Its communities were damaged by an EF3 tornado on January 23, 2012.
Additional Alabama Cities of Interest
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