How to Select a Dental Assistant Training Program near Lincoln Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant program near Lincoln AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Lincoln AL dental practice and can undertake a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Lincoln AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lincoln AL dental offices 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 nearly every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant program can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lincoln AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Lincoln AL area schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Lincoln AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the Alabama college you choose 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, the majority of Lincoln AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish 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 ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Lincoln AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Lincoln 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lincoln AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Lincoln AL area programs you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lincoln AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Lincoln 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 making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Lincoln AL
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lincoln AL.
Tell Me About Lincoln Alabama
Lincoln is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1911. At the 2010 census the population was 6,266. It was named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the American army during the Revolutionary War.
Lincoln is located at 33°35′35″N 86°8′20″W / 33.59306°N 86.13889°W / 33.59306; -86.13889 (33.593156, -86.138879). It is home to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, employing over 4,000 people. Talladega Superspeedway race track is located near the city.
Lincoln has three public schools in the Talladega County Board of Education, Lincoln Elementary School, Charles R. Drew Middle School, and Lincoln High School, Home of The Golden Bears. The first graduate of Lincoln High School was the famous Cities Service Company CEO Burl S. Watson, who graduated from LHS in 1912.
The Birmingham Supplementary School Inc. (BSS, バーミングハム日本語補習校 Bāminguhamu Nihongo Hoshūkō), a part-time Japanese school, has its offices at the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC facility in unincorporated Talladega County, near Lincoln. It holds its classes at the Shelby-Hoover campus of Jefferson State Community College in Hoover. The school first opened on September 1, 2001.
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