How to Select a Dental Assistant College near Lineville Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Lineville AL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Lineville AL dental practice and can perform a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying 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
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling 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 policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Lineville AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lineville AL dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lineville AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, 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 checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Lineville AL area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Lineville AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama school you decide on 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 earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Lineville AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear 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 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, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Lineville AL area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Lineville 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lineville AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Lineville AL area schools you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lineville AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Lineville AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What compelled you to choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant College near Lineville AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally 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 on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lineville AL.
Tell Me About Lineville Alabama
Lineville is a city in Clay County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,395.
Native Americans were the first to inhabit the area now known as Lineville. The Creek Indian War of 1813, however, resulted in their removal. The first white settlers in the area were William and Thomas Lundie. Their settlement became known as Lundie's Cross Roads after a trading post opened in the 1830s to serve pioneers and miners searching for gold. In 1856, Lundie's Cross Roads became known as County Line, probably for the Baptist Church, founded in 1848 and located on what was then the boundary line between Talladega and Randolph counties. Also in 1856, a post office was established in County Line, schools were consolidated and corn and cotton became cash crops.
The Town of (Crooked Creek) Lineville was built on what was at that time the dividing line between Talladega and Randolph Counties, hence the name, Lineville. John H. Ingram, Sr. of Lineville, Alabama furnishes the following early history: “Crooked Creek Baptist Church, later Lineville, was organized in 1839 and built one and one quarter miles west of the town of Lineville about 200 yards northwest of the home of Frank Pittard; and the first literary school of the community was nearby. Some years later the church was moved a short distance and a house was built on the left side of the public road near the residence of the late Thomas H. Harris. In about 1863 the church was moved into the town of Lineville and a house built just west of the present grammar school building; the name was changed to Lineville Baptist Church in 1881 and legally incorporated in 1912; the first Circuit Court that was held in the new County of Clay, was held in the Lineville Baptist Church in 1867, with John Henderson of Talladega, Alabama, as a judge. The present new brick building was built in 1915 and 1916, with the first service held on March 1st, 1916, with prayer and thanksgiving service conducted by J.H. Ingram, Sr., and C.N. James, pastor.”
One of the newest attractions in Clay County in the 1920s, was the chicken business. Millions of chickens and eggs and long chicken houses In or about 1921, Reverend Secelar Claxton Ray took one hundred, day-old chicks to the Clay County Fair and put them under an oil burning brooder and called attention to the advantage of using chickens on the farm to supplement the ‘all cotton’ cash crop. This was something new, but it did gradually got the attention of the local farmers. He was now fully in the poultry business, and named it Goodwill Poultry Farm and Hatchery. He bought houses then idle at the local graphite mines in Clay County and hired neighbors in their spare time and built the hatchery and chicken houses and an extra tenant house on the farm, southeast of Ashland, Alabama whose population of close to one thousand had grown considerably from two hundred in 1881.
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