How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant College near Linden Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Linden AL is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties 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 common dental assistant program normally 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously 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 evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Linden AL dental practice and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing 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 regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Linden 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 room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out 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
- 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 as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 offered at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Linden AL dental offices are often 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade 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 also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Linden AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. 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 required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Linden AL area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Linden AL frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama college you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Linden AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could 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 best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Linden AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Linden AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Linden AL dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Linden AL area colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Linden AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Linden AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What made you select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant Program near Linden AL
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Linden AL.
Tell Me About Linden Alabama
Settled prior to 1818, the community was first known as Screamersville, due to the cry of wild animals that could be heard during the night. It became the county seat in 1819 and was then known as the Town of Marengo. This was changed to Hohenlinden in 1823 to honor the county's earliest European settlers, French Bonapartist refugees to the Vine and Olive Colony. The name of Hohenlinden was chosen to commemorate a battle in 1800 at Hohenlinden, Germany, in which the French were victorious over the Austrians and Bavarians. The spelling was later simplified to Linden.
Linden is located at 32°18′4″N 87°47′34″W / 32.30111°N 87.79278°W / 32.30111; -87.79278 (32.301154, -87.792650). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.83%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,424 people, 938 households, and 662 families residing in the city. The population density was 675.6 people per square mile (260.7/km²). There were 1,084 housing units at an average density of 302.1 per square mile (116.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.43% White, 46.20% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.33% Asian, and 0.87% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 938 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.98.
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