How to Select a Dental Assistant School near Hayneville Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant training near Hayneville AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Hayneville AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Hayneville AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once 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 programs are offered at Alabama junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hayneville AL dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant college might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Hayneville AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Hayneville AL area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Hayneville AL often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama school you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Hayneville AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Hayneville AL area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Hayneville AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Hayneville AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Hayneville AL area colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Hayneville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Hayneville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Hayneville AL
Selecting the right dental assistant course is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Hayneville AL.
Tell Me About Hayneville Alabama
Hayneville is a town in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 932, down from its record high of 1,177 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Lowndes County. It is also part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area. It initially incorporated in 1831, but lapsed, finally reincorporating in 1967. Before 1970, the town appeared only twice on the U.S. Census: in 1850 and 1890. The 1850 estimate of 800 residents ranked it as the largest town in the county at the time.
Located in the fertile Black Belt region, Hayneville was the county seat in a slave society based on cotton production. The town was later a railway terminus and home to the Hayneville Railway Company, which was organized in 1903. Two years later, the company was reorganized as the Hayneville & Montgomery Railroad Company and provided connections for shipping with the L&N Railroad Company's tracks.
During the early part of the 20th century, the boll weevil invaded the South, destroying cotton crops across the most productive counties. At the same time, In the latter half of the 20th century, the agricultural focus shifted to more diverse crops and livestock. Hayneville, like the rest of the Black Belt, has struggled to shift to a more productive economy.
Hayneville was founded in 1820 by settlers from the Edgefield, Abbeville, and Colleton districts of South Carolina on property purchased from the U.S. Land Office at Cahawba. Throughout the 1820s, Hayneville was known as "Big Swamp". The indigenous Muscogee Creek people had been forced to cede their lands under various treaties with the United States, and most of them were removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
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