How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program near Daleville Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Daleville AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two 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 common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Daleville AL dental practice and can undertake a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish 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 receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing 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 policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of 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 Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Daleville AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 exams. Once they have fulfilled 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 Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Daleville AL dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant school might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Daleville AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Daleville AL area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of 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 condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Daleville AL typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama college you select 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 have a career as a hygienist, the majority of Daleville AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as 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, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers adequate 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, verify that the Daleville AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Daleville AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Daleville AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Daleville AL area programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Daleville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Daleville AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What compelled you to select Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Dental Assistant Program near Daleville AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one 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 training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Daleville AL.
Tell Me About Daleville Alabama
Daleville is a city in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,295, up from 4,653 in 2000. It is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city's nickname is "Gateway to Fort Rucker", as this U.S. Army post is located just north of town. Cairns Army Airfield is located to the south of Daleville on the road to nearby Clayhatchee.
Daleville, originally known as "Dale's Court House", was founded in 1827 by veterans of the Creek Indian War who had settled in Dale County following that conflict. It was established as the original county seat of Dale County in 1827 but lost that honor when Coffee County split from Dale in 1841, at which time the seat was moved first to Newton, and then later to Ozark in 1870, where it remains today.
The name of Daleville was adopted in 1848. Daleville voted to incorporate in 1912, but rescinded it in 1916. It later voted for incorporation in 1958.
Residents of the town formed portions of two regiments of the Confederate States Army during the U.S. Civil War: the 15th Alabama Infantry, famed for charging the 20th Maine on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 33rd Alabama Infantry. In the latter regiment, Company "G", called the "Daleville Blues", was recruited entirely from Daleville. Several men from this company were killed in a freak train derailment on 4 November 1862 near Cleveland, Tennessee; the remainder would fight with the rest of the 33rd in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender in 1865.
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