How to Pick a Dental Assistant School near Greenville Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant training near Greenville AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Greenville AL dental practice and can undertake a multitude of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many 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 Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Greenville AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Greenville AL dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three 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 interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Greenville AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Greenville AL area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Greenville AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama college you decide on 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, the majority of Greenville AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good 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 may 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 best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 Greenville AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Greenville 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 Greenville AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Greenville AL area schools you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Greenville 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 particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Greenville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What compelled you to choose Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Greenville AL
Picking the right dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Greenville AL.
Tell Me About Greenville Alabama
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.
During World War II, a satellite camp for German prisoners was based in Greenville.
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