How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant College near Walnut Grove Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Walnut Grove AL is an important 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 doing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining 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 normally takes about one 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 complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Walnut Grove AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of functions. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Walnut Grove 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 room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. 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 as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Walnut Grove AL dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Walnut Grove AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Walnut Grove AL area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Walnut Grove AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Walnut Grove AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Walnut Grove AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Walnut Grove 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 look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Walnut Grove AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Walnut Grove AL area colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer 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 experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Walnut Grove AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near your Walnut Grove AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Walnut Grove AL
Picking the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Walnut Grove AL.
Tell Me About Walnut Grove Alabama
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698. From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
Walnut Grove was burned during the Civil War.
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
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