How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Training Program near Auburn University Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Auburn University AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important component of any Auburn University AL dental practice and can perform a variety of duties. Their primary job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have 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 offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly 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 Auburn University AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally 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 assisting classes. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Auburn University AL dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Auburn University AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Auburn University AL area schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Auburn University AL frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. 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 Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama school you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Auburn University AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that even if a school 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Auburn University AL area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Auburn University AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at 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 Auburn University AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Auburn University AL area programs you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Auburn University AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Auburn University AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assisting position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask Dental Assistant prospects is "What drove you to decide on Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Dental Assistant, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to Assisting, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Auburn University AL
Choosing the right dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Auburn University AL.
Tell Me About Auburn University Alabama
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a land-grant and public research university in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn University is one of the state's two public flagship universities.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. In 1964, under Federal Court mandate, AU admitted its first African American student.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Auburn's early history is inextricably linked with the Civil War and the Reconstruction-era South. Classes were held in "Old Main" until the college was closed due to the war, when most of the students and faculty left to enlist. The campus was a training ground for the Confederate Army, and "Old Main" served as a hospital for Confederate wounded.
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