How to Pick a Dental Assistant School near Talladega Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant college near Talladega AL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider 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 depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Talladega AL dental practice and can carry out a multitude of tasks. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Talladega AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Talladega 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Talladega AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options also. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Talladega AL area programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. 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 examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Talladega AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama school you select 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. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Talladega AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Talladega AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Talladega AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Talladega AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Talladega AL area schools you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Talladega AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Talladega AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What compelled you to pick Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Talladega AL
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend 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 ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Talladega AL.
Tell Me About Talladega Alabama
Talladega County, Alabama
The name Talladega is derived from a Muscogee (Creek) Native American word Tvlvteke, from the Creek tålwa, meaning "town", and åtigi, or "border" -- "Border Town"—a town indicating its location on the boundary between the lands of the Creek tribe and those of the Cherokee and Chickasaw.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 760 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 737 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (3.1%) is water. It is drained by Choccolocco Creek (archaic spelling: Chockolocko) and other streams.
As of the census of 2000, there were 80,321 people, 30,674 households, and 21,901 families residing in the county. The population density was 109 people per square mile (42/km2). There were 34,469 housing units at an average density of 47 per square mile (18/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.02% White, 31.55% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Nearly 1.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 30,674 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 52.40% were married couples living together, 15.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 25.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50, and the average family size was 3.00.
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