How to Pick a Dental Assistant School near Lanett Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Lanett AL is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Lanett AL dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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 Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Lanett AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results 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
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lanett AL dental practices are generally 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Lanett AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Lanett AL area colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Lanett AL often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama schools.
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 school you choose has 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 Lanett AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a college 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Lanett AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Lanett AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lanett AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Lanett AL area schools you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, 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 school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lanett AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Lanett AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Why Did You Want to Become a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask Dental Assisting prospects is "What compelled you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Lanett AL
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you intend 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 education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lanett AL.
Tell Me About Lanett Alabama
Lanett is a city in Chambers County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,468, down from 7,897 in 2000. Lanett, originally called Bluffton, is located in eastern Alabama, on the Chattahoochee River, southwest of Atlanta. The city's name is derived from Lafayette Lanier and Theodore Bennett, founders of the West Point Manufacturing Company.
Lanett is located on the eastern edge of Chambers County at 32°51'48.326" North, 85°11'58.862" West (32.863424, -85.199684). Its eastern boundary is the Alabama–Georgia state line, with the town of West Point, Georgia, bordering Lanett to the east. Interstate 85 forms the southeast boundary of Lanett, with the city of Valley, Alabama, on the other side of the highway. The unincorporated community of Huguley is along Lanett's southwest border.
The Chattahoochee River forms the state line and eastern boundary of Lanett from I-85 north to the downtown area, at which point the state line turns north-northwest and becomes a land boundary between Lanett and West Point, Georgia.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,468 people, 2,723 households, and 1,746 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,040 people per square mile (401.5/km²). There were 3,338 housing units at an average density of 538 per square mile (207/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.5% Black or African American, 39.3% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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