How to Choose a Dental Assistant School near Hodges Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant program near Hodges AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year 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. Obviously with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Hodges AL dental office and can perform a variety of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Hodges AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- 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 examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Hodges AL dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete 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 interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Hodges AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Hodges AL area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Hodges AL often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the Alabama school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. 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 Hodges AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Hodges AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Hodges 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hodges AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Hodges AL area schools you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Hodges AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Hodges AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assistant position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Hodges AL
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Hodges AL.
Tell Me About Hodges Alabama
Mabon Lewis "Teenie" Hodges (November 16, 1945 – June 22, 2014) was an American musician known for his work as a rhythm and lead guitarist and songwriter on many of Al Green's soul hits, and those of other artists such as Ann Peebles and Syl Johnson, on Hi Records in the 1970s. His credits as a songwriter include "Take Me to the River", "Love and Happiness", "L-O-V-E (Love)", and "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)".
Born in Germantown, Tennessee, Hodges began playing guitar at age 12 in his father's band, the Germantown Blue Dots, before joining his brothers Leroy and Charles in their group, the Impalas. He was encouraged by Memphis band leader and record producer Willie Mitchell. Mitchell used Hodges as a central component of the Hi Rhythm Section, which also included Leroy, Charles, drummer Al Jackson, Jr., and pianist Archie Turner, Mitchell's stepson. When Jackson left in 1966, Hodges recruited Howard Grimes to replace him.
Two of his compositions "Take Me to the River" and "Love and Happiness," both co-written with Green, have been covered by numerous other international artists, including Al Jarreau, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Talking Heads, O.V. Wright, David Sanborn, Toots & the Maytals, Canned Heat, Foghat, Levon Helm, Syl Johnson, Annie Lennox, Delbert McClinton, Mitch Ryder, Tom Jones, Graham Central Station, Living Colour, blues artist Willie Cobbs, Denise LaSalle, and others. He also co-wrote several other popular hits with songwriters like Isaac Hayes, Willie Mitchell, and Al Green, including "I Take What I Want," "Oh Me, Oh My," "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)", "L-O-V-E (Love)" and "Full of Fire".
Hodges continued to record and tour as guitarist in the Hi Rhythm Section, often with major soul acts like Syl Johnson and O.V. Wright. The Hodges brothers, with Grimes, recorded the 1976 LP On the Loose, as Hi Rhythm, and in 1994 issued Perfect Gentlemen. He contributed one acoustic song ('Rock Me Baby') to Beale Street Saturday Night released in 1979. They also recorded comeback albums with both Syl Johnson and Al Green. In 2005 Teenie Hodges recorded with Cat Power on her successful album The Greatest. He has also recorded with Alvin "Youngblood" Hart.
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