How to Enroll In the Best Dental Assistant School near Anniston Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Anniston AL is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Anniston AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of duties. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ 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 licensed and certified. Many 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).
Dental Assistant Training Programs
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take 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 community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Anniston AL dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant school might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Anniston AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Anniston AL area colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Anniston AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Anniston AL college you choose offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Anniston AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Anniston AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Anniston AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Anniston AL area schools you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Anniston AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Anniston AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Anniston AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Anniston Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Anniston is the county seat of Calhoun County in Alabama and is one of two urban centers/principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 23,106. According to 2013 Census estimates, the city had a population of 22,666.
Though the surrounding area was settled much earlier, the mineral resources in the area of Anniston were not exploited until the Civil War. The Confederate States of America then operated an iron furnace near present-day downtown Anniston, until it was finally destroyed by raiding Union cavalry in early 1865. Later, cast iron for sewer systems became the focus of Anniston's industrial output. Cast iron pipe, also called soil pipe, was popular until the advent of plastic pipe in the 1960s.
In 1872, the Woodstock Iron Company, organized by Samuel Noble and Union Gen. Daniel Tyler, rebuilt the furnace on a much larger scale, and started a planned community named Woodstock, soon renamed "Annie's Town" for Annie Scott Tyler, Daniel's daughter and wife of railroad president Alfred L. Tyler. Anniston was chartered as a town in 1873.
Do You Need A Degree To Be A Dental Assistant Anniston Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Do You Need A Degree To Be A Dental Assistant and wanting info on Schools For Dental Assisting. But as we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Anniston AL.
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