How to Pick a Dental Assistant Training Program near Boaz Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Boaz AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the school’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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months 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 finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Boaz AL dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing 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 most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably 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 Boaz AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding 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 as well as any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Boaz 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant program may be a viable alternative for receiving 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Boaz AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Boaz AL area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Boaz AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right 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 offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, many Boaz AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because 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 college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Boaz AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Boaz AL dental practice. They make it easier for 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Boaz AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Boaz AL area programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Boaz AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Boaz AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What drove you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Boaz AL
Selecting the right dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Boaz AL.
Tell Me About Boaz Alabama
Boaz is a city in Etowah and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,551. Boaz is known mainly for its outlet shops.
First settled in the 1850s, the town of Boaz was officially founded November 11, 1878 by the Sparks Family of Georgia. A post office has been in operation since 1887. The city was named after Boaz, from the Hebrew Bible. It was incorporated in 1897.
Boaz is located in southeastern Marshall County at 34°12′10″N 86°9′38″W / 34.20278°N 86.16056°W / 34.20278; -86.16056 (34.202793, −86.160457), and extends south into Etowah County. It is bordered to the north by Albertville and to the southeast by Sardis City. U.S. Route 431 passes through the east side of the city, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Albertville and southeast 20 miles (32 km) to Gadsden. Boaz is located on top of Sand Mountain (a plateau), at an elevation of 1,080 feet (330 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,551 people, 3,712 households, and 2,479 families residing in the city. The population density was 782.9 people per square mile (302.2/km2). There were 4,036 housing units at an average density of 330.8 per square mile (127.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.3% White, 1.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 14.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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