How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program near Tuskegee Institute Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program near Tuskegee Institute AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing 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 indispensable component of any Tuskegee Institute AL dental practice and can carry out a multitude of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying 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
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ 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. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Tuskegee Institute AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Tuskegee Institute AL dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 vocational 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 as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant college might be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Tuskegee Institute AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Tuskegee Institute AL area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at 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 ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify 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 receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Tuskegee Institute AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama schools.
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 choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Tuskegee Institute 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 school 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 solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Tuskegee Institute AL area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Tuskegee Institute AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Tuskegee Institute AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Tuskegee Institute AL area colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Tuskegee Institute AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Tuskegee Institute AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you pick Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant School near Tuskegee Institute AL
Choosing the right dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Tuskegee Institute AL.
Tell Me About Tuskegee Institute Alabama
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university (HBCU) located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It was established by Booker T. Washington. The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service and is the only one in the U.S. to have this designation. The university was home to scientist George Washington Carver and to World War II's Tuskegee Airmen.
Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor's degree programs, 17 master's degree programs, a 5-year accredited professional degree program in architecture, 4 doctoral degree programs, and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The university is home to over 3,100 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. Tuskegee University was ranked among 2015's best 379 colleges and universities by The Princeton Review and 5th among the 2015 U.S. News & World Report best HBCUs.
The university's campus was designed by architect Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The school was founded on July 4, 1881, as the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers. This was a result of an agreement made during the 1880 elections in Macon County between a former Confederate Colonel, W.F. Foster, who was running on the democratic ticket and a local Black Leader and Republican, Lewis Adams. W.F. Foster propositioned that if Adams could successfully persuade the Black constituents to vote for Foster, if elected, Foster would push the state of Alabama to establish a school for Black people in the county. At the time the majority of Macon County population was Black, thus Black constituents had political power. Adams succeeded and Foster followed through with the school. The school became a part of the expansion of higher education for blacks in the former Confederate states following the American Civil War, with many schools founded by the northern American Missionary Association. A teachers’ school was the dream of Lewis Adams, a former slave, and George W. Campbell, a banker, merchant, and former slaveholder, who shared a commitment to the education of blacks. Despite lacking formal education, Adams could read, write, and speak several languages. He was an experienced tinsmith, harness-maker, and shoemaker and was a Prince Hall Freemason, an acknowledged leader of the African-American community in Macon County, Alabama.
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