How to Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Glenwood Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Glenwood AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually 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 finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a dental hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Glenwood AL dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with 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) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Glenwood AL practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based 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 care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Glenwood AL dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant college can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Glenwood AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Glenwood AL area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Glenwood AL frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the Alabama school you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Glenwood AL dental practices 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 exceptional 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Glenwood AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Glenwood 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 look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Glenwood AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Glenwood AL area schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Glenwood AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Glenwood AL home in the evenings 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 protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Dental Assisting applicants is "What made you select Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Assisting, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Dental Assistant and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Glenwood AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is important if you want 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 amount 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 receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Glenwood AL.
Tell Me About Glenwood Alabama
As of the census of 2000, there were 191 people, 92 households, and 58 families residing in the town. The population density was 262.8 people per square mile (101.0/km²). There were 118 housing units at an average density of 162.3 per square mile (62.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.11% White, 29.84% Black or African American, and 1.05% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 92 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.59.
In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $28,750, and the median income for a family was $36,875. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,074. About 7.4% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.2% of those under the age of eighteen and 25.0% of those sixty five or over.
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