How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Rutledge Alabama
Picking the right dental assistant program near Rutledge AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Rutledge AL dental office and can perform a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing 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 most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Rutledge AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often 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 also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Rutledge AL dental practices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Selecting an online dental assistant college may be a great alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Rutledge AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Rutledge AL area colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal 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 intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Rutledge AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Rutledge AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation as well as 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 could 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 Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Rutledge AL area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Rutledge AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Rutledge AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Rutledge AL area schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Rutledge AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Rutledge AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Rutledge AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Rutledge AL.
Tell Me About Rutledge Alabama
Rutledge is a town in Crenshaw County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 467.
Rutledge is located at the geographic center of Crenshaw County at 31°43′59″N 86°18′35″W / 31.73306°N 86.30972°W / 31.73306; -86.30972 (31.733103, -86.309619). The city of Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, lies along Rutledge's eastern border.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15.2 km2), all land.
Rutledge began as Barber's Crossroads. It was originally settled by Jared Phelps Barber. The town was briefly named Crenshaw, but on June 10, 1867, it was changed to Rutledge in honor of Captain Henry Rutledge, Company H. 59th Alabama Infantry, CSA. Rutledge was the first county seat of Crenshaw County and held that position from March 1867 to May 1893. It was incorporated in 1871.
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