How to Select a Dental Assistant Training Program near Newville Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Newville AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider 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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review 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 Newville AL dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination 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 biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Newville AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered 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 offered at Alabama junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Newville AL dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant program might be a great option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Newville AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Newville AL area schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Newville AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you choose 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, the majority of Newville AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good 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 college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Newville AL area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Newville AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Newville AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Newville AL area colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Newville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Newville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What made you select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant Program near Newville AL
Picking the right dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Newville AL.
Tell Me About Newville Alabama
Newville is a town in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 539, down from 553 in 2000.
James Madison Wells founded a village called "Wells" c. 1882. When the Abbeville Southern Railroad laid tracks through the town in 1893, its name was changed to "Wells Station". The post office was built in 1894. Wells Station incorporated as "Newville" in 1903.
The town of Newville became prosperous with merchants, banks, lodges, doctors, churches, Newville High School, Rosenwald High School, societies, a newspaper, a depot, sawmills, cotton gins, mule stables and all the elements required by a developing town. Newville's slow decline commenced after the Great Depression due to farm mechanization and loss of commerce.
James M. and Catherine Wells donated one-half acre of land in 1887 for the site of the church and cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of William Y. Kirkland who died April 10, 1891. The church paid W.M. Harris fifty dollars in 1901 for two and one-half acres of land for the cemetery. In 1947, burial spaces were sold for 25 center per square foot. Nancy Price gave the church one acre of land for the cemetery in 1958. There are over 700 marked and unmarked graves. The Newville Cemetery was listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2005.
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