How to Choose the Right Dental Assistant Training Program near Ardmore Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Ardmore AL is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish 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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive 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 assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Ardmore AL dental practice and can perform a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require 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 pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Ardmore AL dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Ardmore AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees 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 a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Ardmore AL area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Ardmore AL often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Ardmore AL college you choose offers the program that you want. However, keep 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 dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select 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, make sure that the Ardmore AL area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Ardmore AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Ardmore AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Ardmore AL area programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Ardmore AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Ardmore AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Ardmore AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Ardmore Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Ardmore is a town in Limestone County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Metro Area. It is home to the Saturn IB rocket at the Alabama Welcome Center, just south of the Tennessee border, on Interstate 65. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,194. It borders its sister city Ardmore, Tennessee.
The settlement was originally named Austin, after Alex Austin, who selected the location as a site for a station along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The railroad company later renamed the town Ardmore, for the community of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Ardmore, Alabama was incorporated in 1922.
Ardmore is located at 34°59′13″N 86°50′36″W / 34.98694°N 86.84333°W / 34.98694; -86.84333 (34.987052, -86.843228). It is the northernmost settlement in the state of Alabama. The town is concentrated along Alabama State Route 53, which runs south to north along Ardmore Avenue before veering east along the state line, where it runs congruent with Tennessee State Route 7 on Main Street. Interstate 65, which connects Nashville and Birmingham, passes just west of Ardmore.
Dental Assisting Classes Ardmore Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Dental Assisting Classes and wanting info on Dental Assisting Certificate Program. But as you now know, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Ardmore AL.
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