How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Wedowee Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant college near Wedowee AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand 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 explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Wedowee AL dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably 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 Wedowee AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wedowee AL dental offices are often 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 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 dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant college might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wedowee AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office 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 method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Wedowee AL area schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Wedowee AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama school 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. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many Wedowee AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if 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 school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Wedowee AL area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Wedowee AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? 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 placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wedowee AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Wedowee AL area schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses 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 Wedowee AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Wedowee AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, 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 Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assistant candidates is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant College near Wedowee AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wedowee AL.
Tell Me About Wedowee Alabama
Wedowee is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 823, up from 818 in 2000. The small town is the county seat of Randolph County. It was initially incorporated in 1836, but its charter lapsed by the late 19th century. It was reincorporated in 1901.
Randolph County High School is located in Wedowee.
Wedowee, which means "old water" in the Creek language, was named after a Muscogee Creek Indian chief. This area was historically occupied by the Muscogee Creek people.
Following Indian Removal of the Creek in the 1830s to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River by the US government, this area was settled by European Americans. The town of Wedowee was designated as the county seat of Randolph County in 1835. The county was developed for the cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, with labor primarily done by enslaved African Americans, many of whom had been sold to the Deep South from the Upper South in the domestic slave trade.
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