How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Tuskegee Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Tuskegee AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one 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 complete. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Tuskegee AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Tuskegee AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Tuskegee AL dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade 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 also. Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant college may be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Tuskegee AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Tuskegee AL area programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Tuskegee 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, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Tuskegee AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may 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 right school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Tuskegee AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Tuskegee AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Tuskegee AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Tuskegee AL area schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Tuskegee AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Tuskegee AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to 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 review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Tuskegee AL
Picking the right dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Tuskegee AL.
Tell Me About Tuskegee Alabama
Tuskegee (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been an important site in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated, and its first, founding principal was, Booker T. Washington who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established here, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
The city was the subject of a notable civil rights case, Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960), in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature had violated the Fifteenth Amendment in 1957 by gerrymandering city boundaries as a 28-sided figure that excluded nearly all black voters and residents, and none of the white voters or residents. The city's boundaries were restored in 1961 after the ruling.
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