How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Valley Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant training near Valley AL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the college’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 money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at 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 Valley AL dental office and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing 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) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Valley 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 area. 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 responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama community colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Valley 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant program can be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Valley 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. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Valley AL area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Valley AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the Alabama school you select offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Valley AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Valley AL area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Valley 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 Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Valley AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Valley AL area programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Valley AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Valley AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What made you select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Valley AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning 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 provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Valley AL.
Tell Me About Valley Alabama
Chambers County, Alabama
Chambers County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 34,215. Its county seat is Lafayette. Its name is in honor of Henry H. Chambers, who served as a United States Senator from Alabama.
Chambers County is included in the Valley, AL Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL Combined Statistical Area.
Prior to contact with people of European descent, what is now Chambers County was inhabited by the Creek nation.
Chambers County was established on December 18, 1832.
Additional Alabama Cities of Interest
Valley AL Dental Schools - BingNews Search results
Defenses shine as Ramsay downs Pinson Valley 14-13 on missed extra point
Nelson (66-35 at Ramsay and 106-63 overall) jumped to No. 2 on the school’s all ... Pinson Valley offensive tackle Rayvon Crum committed to North Texas. Ramsay boasts two of the state’s top prospects ...
Football Takes On New Look In Alabama Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Many local youth sports programs cancelled their fall seasons in the area, while others have moved forward, but with restrictions.
Birmingham Area High School Football Scores 2020: Week 6
Helena's game with McAdory has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns with Helena, but the Birmingham metro has a full slate of games Friday nonetheless. Notable games ...
Valley View Dental’s newest team member happy to return home
Years later, Holmes has returned to his origins in the Southern Tier to begin his dental practice at Valley View Dental at 3065 Buffalo Road. A 2012 graduate of Cuba-Rushford High School, Holmes ...
Best of Orange County 2020: Best dental practice
It sounds oxymoronic, equating a visit to the dentist with a trip to “Cheers,” but that’s how Practice Manager Dennise’ Devane categorized this four-dentist practice that Dr. Rodney Boyd purchased in ...
Jones Valley Teaching Farm happily reaps what it sows
For some, the sky seems to be the limit as far as possibilities for the future. Five of Jones Valley’s schools are in the city’s Woodlawn community, which means that “a pre-K student will end up in ...
Jones Valley Teaching Farm plans new project downtown
A local nonprofit with strong ties to Birmingham’s award-winning culinary scene is opening a new community learning center after securing competitive New Markets Tax Credits.
GREEN VALLEY DENTAL
Drs. A.J. Giesa and Lisa M. Ciabattoni. The two met while attending Temple University School of Dentistry and were married shortly after graduation. They are proud to be part of the Berks County ...
School closures cut a critical line to dental care for poor students
The disproportionate effect of school closures on low-income children, who are less likely to have access to computers, home internet connections and direct instruction from teachers, has been well ...
Catawba Valley School of Dental Hygiene Selects Teledentix with Grant Awarded by the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative
2, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Catawba Valley Community ... Crystal Adams, CVCC's Head of Dental Hygiene, needed a solution to run a hybrid approach to the school's dental hygiene training program.
UAB School of Dentistry provides free dental care
Fortis School of Dental Hygiene, Cahaba Valley Health Care, The Alabama Dental Association, The Birmingham District Dental Society and other local dentists. By partnering with these community clinics, ...