How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant College near Shannon Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Shannon AL is an important first step toward beginning 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 picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Shannon AL dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Shannon AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as 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 community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Shannon AL dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Shannon AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Shannon AL area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order 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 Shannon AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Shannon AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep 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 school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Shannon AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Shannon AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Shannon AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Shannon AL area programs you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Shannon AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Shannon AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required 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 emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Shannon AL
Picking the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Shannon AL.
Tell Me About Shannon Alabama
Shannon Jerod Shorter (born August 1, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for Al Riyadi of the Lebanese Basketball League. The 193cm Texan joined the 36ers in 2017 following a seven-season professional career which took him to China, Argentina, Japan, Israel, Mexico, Turkey and France.
Shorter played four years of college basketball between 2007 and 2011. After spending his freshman season with Texas A&M–Corpus Christi, Shorter joined Paris Junior College for his sophomore year. He returned to a Division 1 school in 2009, joining North Texas. In 66 games for North Texas over two seasons, he averaged 6.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
On September 23, 2016, Shorter signed with TED Ankara Kolejliler of the Turkish Basketball Super League. In March 2017, he left Ankara and joined French team Le Mans Sarthe Basket for the rest of the season.
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