How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program near Autaugaville Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Autaugaville AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Autaugaville AL dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide 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 role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Autaugaville AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical 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 provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Autaugaville AL dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Autaugaville AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required 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 program is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With 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 programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Autaugaville AL area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college 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 Autaugaville AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama college you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Autaugaville AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides sufficient 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 Autaugaville AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Autaugaville AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools need help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Autaugaville AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Autaugaville AL area schools you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ 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 private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Autaugaville AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Autaugaville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Dental Assistant Program near Autaugaville AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Autaugaville AL.
Tell Me About Autaugaville Alabama
As of the census of 2010, there were 870 people, 350 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 114.2 people per square mile (44.1/km2). There were 412 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 66.8% Black or African American, 31.3% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. 0.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 350 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 26.0% has a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.
As of the census of 2000, there were 820 people, 316 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 106.1 people per square mile (41.0/km2). There were 384 housing units at an average density of 49.7 per square mile (19.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 65.98% Black or African American, 32.32% White, 0.24% Native American, 0.24% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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