How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Training Program near Ragland Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Ragland AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Ragland AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering 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 regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most 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 Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest 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 Ragland AL practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Ragland AL dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant school can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Ragland AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Ragland AL area schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Ragland AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, a large number of Ragland AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Ragland AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Ragland AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Ragland AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Ragland AL area programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Ragland AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Ragland AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have 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 responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Dental Assistant?When preparing to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What drove you to choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Dental Assistant and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Ragland AL
Selecting the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Ragland AL.
Tell Me About Ragland Alabama
Reggie Keith Ragland Jr. (born September 23, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, though due to a season ending injury in the preseason his rookie year and a preseason trade in 2017, he never played a regular season game for the Bills.
A native of Madison, Alabama, Ragland attended Bob Jones High School, where he was a varsity player in both football and basketball. As a sophomore, he played small forward on a basketball team that upset No. 1 Homewood to win the 2009–2010 AHSAA Class 6A Championship, with Levi Randolph being named MVP. Meanwhile, on the football field Ragland had 40 receptions as a tight end and six touchdowns. Mostly playing defense as a junior, he recorded 91 tackles in 2010 with 21 tackles-for-loss. Bob Jones went 8–4 over the season, losing 21–28 to Clay-Chalkville in the first round of the 6A playoffs. In his senior season, Ragland was credited with 97 tackles with 22 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. The Patriots allowed only 13 points per game and were 10–2 on the season, losing to the eventual 6A state runner-up Hoover in the second round of the playoffs. Ragland was also on the Patriots track & field team, where he competed in the discus throw and the shot put.
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ragland was listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in his class. Shortly after his junior season, he committed to Alabama over Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee.
As a true freshman on Alabama's 2012 championship team, Ragland played in 10 games, primarily on special teams, and was credited with eight tackles, include five solo stops, and a forced fumble. In his sophomore season, he appeared in 13 games, and compiled 17 tackles on the season as a back-up to C. J. Mosley. Both he and Reuben Foster were the leading candidates to replace Mosley at the “Will” linebacker spot in Alabama's 3–4 defense. Ragland eventually won out over Foster, starting all but one game for the Crimson Tide in 2014. He recorded 95 tackles on the season, which ranked second on the team behind only Landon Collins. Ragland also had 10.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a team-high three fumble recoveries. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after a career-high 13 tackles against Louisiana State.
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