How to Choose a Dental Assistant College near Webb Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Webb AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Webb AL dental office and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing 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 handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role 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 assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Webb AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial 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 may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Webb AL dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Selecting an online dental assistant school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Webb AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Webb AL area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Webb AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Webb AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Webb AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Webb AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Webb AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Webb AL area programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Webb AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Webb AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What made you decide on Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant Program near Webb AL
Selecting the right dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study prior to entering 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 elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Webb AL.
Tell Me About Webb Alabama
Webb is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. It is named for plantation owner B. F. Webb, who settled in the area around 1890. The town was incorporated in 1903. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,430, up from 1,298 in 2000.
Webb is located in northern Houston County at 31°15′37″N 85°17′1″W / 31.26028°N 85.28361°W / 31.26028; -85.28361 (31.260358, -85.283533). It is bordered to the northwest by the town of Kinsey, to the west by the city of Dothan, and at its southern tip by the town of Cowarts.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,298 people, 491 households, and 375 families residing in the town. The population density was 110.6 people per square mile (42.7/km²). There were 523 housing units at an average density of 44.6 per square mile (17.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 79.20% White, 19.65% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 491 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.06.
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