How to Choose a Dental Assistant Training Program near Columbiana Alabama
Picking the right dental assistant training near Columbiana AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should 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 provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Columbiana AL dental practice and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Columbiana AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Columbiana AL dental offices are normally required to hold 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 assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a great option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Columbiana AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Columbiana AL area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Columbiana AL frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, most Columbiana 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 college 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 solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Columbiana AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Columbiana 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 also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Columbiana AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Columbiana AL area programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Columbiana AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Columbiana AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What drove you to select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Columbiana AL
Picking the right dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Columbiana AL.
Tell Me About Columbiana Alabama
Columbiana is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,197. The city is the county seat of Shelby County.
Columbiana, originally called Columbia, was selected as the county seat of Shelby County in 1826 over rivals Calera and Montevallo. After the selection as the county seat, Columbiana celebrated by drilling holes in a large pine tree and packing it with gunpowder. The tree was blown up and the sound could be heard for miles. Later in 1826, the courthouse was moved to an old school building in Columbiana.
An act of the Alabama Legislature officially changed the name of Shelby County’s county seat to Columbiana on January 13, 1832. Columbiana was incorporated on December 5, 1837 with corporate limits one-quarter of a mile in each direction from the public square.
In 1854, the decision was made to build a larger courthouse at the south end of “Silk Stocking Road”, now Main Street. From 1854 to 1908 several additions and changes were made to the courthouse. During the American Civil War, Columbiana was connected to the nearby town of Shelby by the Shelby Iron Company Railroad, which connected the Shelby Iron Works to the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad. The Iron Works supplied iron to the C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, which moved to Columbiana in 1862 after the fall of Corinth, Mississippi. The Churchill foundry made eight and ten pound shot, eight and ten pound shells, and shells for Blakely rifles. The C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, Shelby Iron Works and the railroad were destroyed by Union forces on March 31, 1865, as part of Wilson's Raid.
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