How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Hazel Green Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant college near Hazel Green AL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you should 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 offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Hazel Green AL dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Hazel Green AL practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hazel Green AL dental offices are usually 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant school might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hazel Green AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice 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 learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Hazel Green AL area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Hazel Green AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just confirm that the Alabama school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Hazel Green AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Hazel Green AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Hazel Green AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need help obtaining 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 are likely to have good reputations within the Hazel Green AL dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Hazel Green AL area schools you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Hazel Green AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Hazel Green AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Dental Assisting candidates is "What compelled you to choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Hazel Green AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is essential 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 acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Hazel Green AL.
Tell Me About Hazel Green Alabama
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,805 people, 1,340 households, and 1,080 families residing in the community. The population density was 378.9 people per square mile (146.3/km²). There were 1,394 housing units at an average density of 138.8 per square mile (53.6/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 93.56% White, 2.65% Black or African American, 1.31% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. 1.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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