How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant Program near Camden Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training near Camden AL is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental 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 Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Camden AL dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly 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 supporting the Camden AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Camden 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade 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 dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant college may be a viable option 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 by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Camden AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer 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 practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Camden AL area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Camden AL often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the Alabama college you select offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, many Camden AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation as well as 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Camden AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Camden AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Camden AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Camden AL area programs you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Camden AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Camden AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Dental Assistant?When prepping to interview for a Dental Assisting job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What made you choose Assisting as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Camden AL
Selecting the right dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly 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 normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Camden AL.
Tell Me About Camden Alabama
Camden is a city in and the county seat of Wilcox County, Alabama, United States. The population was 2,020 at the 2010 census, down from 2,257 in 2000, at which time it was a town.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
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