How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Degree Program near Camden Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Camden AL is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Camden AL dental practice and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Camden AL dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Camden AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Camden AL area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Camden AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Camden AL school you select has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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 dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Camden AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get 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 create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Camden AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Camden AL area programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Camden AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue 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 enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Camden AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Camden Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
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.
How Long Is School For Dental Assistant Camden Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long Is School For Dental Assistant and wanting info on Dental Assistant Courses. But as you now know, there are many options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Camden AL.
Other Alabama Dentistry Locations