How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Pike Road Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Pike Road AL is an important initial 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 far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the college’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 have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. 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 duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Pike Road AL dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Pike Road AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Pike Road 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 complete 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 interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school can be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Pike Road AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Pike Road AL area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Pike Road AL often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama college you decide on has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Pike Road AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Pike Road AL area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Pike Road AL dental practice. They help 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 Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs 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 Pike Road AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Pike Road AL area programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Pike Road AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Pike Road AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Pike Road AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Pike Road AL.
Tell Me About Pike Road Alabama
Pike Road, Alabama
Pike Road is a town in Montgomery County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the town was 310. The 2010 census indicated a population of 5,406. It is part of the Montgomery metropolitan area.
The current town council members are: Chris Dunn, Angie Bradsher, Betsy Atkins, Leroy Tolliver and Rob Steindorff. The Pike Road Town Council meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month as well as the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 a.m. Meetings are held in the council chamber at Pike Road Town Hall (9575 Vaughn Road).
By the time of the 2010 census, there were 5,406 people residing in Pike Road with the town now having 1,933 households, and 1606 families. The town's population grew almost 20-fold since the 2000 census, making it one of the fastest growing incorporated places in Alabama with a population of over 5,000 in 2010. Population is 8,777 as of 2016.
The 2010 census population profile by race showed 68.5% White, 28.7% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.4% Asian American, and 1.3% Hispanic or Latino persons of any race living within the town limits. Roughly 0.8% of the population was of two or more races.
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