How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant School near Ashford Alabama
Picking the right dental assistant college near Ashford AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish 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 accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Ashford AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, 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 assisting the Ashford AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Ashford AL dental offices are generally required to have 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 virtually 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 as well. Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Ashford AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area 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 discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Ashford AL area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Ashford AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Ashford 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 a good reputation and 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Ashford AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Ashford AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Ashford AL dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Ashford AL area programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Ashford AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Ashford AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Assisting, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant College near Ashford AL
Picking the right dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Ashford AL.
Tell Me About Ashford Alabama
Ashford is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was incorporated in June 1891. For most of its history, it was a center for naval stores production, pulpwood harvesting, and cotton agriculture. The population was 2,148 at the 2010 census, up from 1,853 at the 2000 census.
Ashford is located slightly northeast of the center of Houston County at 31°11′3″N 85°14′7″W / 31.18417°N 85.23528°W / 31.18417; -85.23528 (31.184032, -85.235286).U.S. Route 84 passes through the southern part of the town, leading west 9 miles (14 km) to Dothan and southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Donalsonville, Georgia. The Chattahoochee River, which forms the Georgia state line, is 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Ashford on US 84.
Ashford's current mayor, Jonathon Grecu has tendered his resignation effective December 31, 2017. The city council consists of five members, who have 60 days to select new mayor. If the city council is unable to select one, the appointment goes to Governor for 30 days. If governor Ivey does not appoint the replacement at this time, then the special election is set by Probate Judge.
Ashford has one elementary school for grades K-5 and a high school for grades 6-12. The schools mascot is known as the yellow jackets. Ashford Academy was once a private school that closed its doors at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
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