How to Find the Best Dental Assistant Program near Prudhoe Bay Alaska
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Prudhoe Bay AK is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Prudhoe Bay AK dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alaska junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily 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 classes. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alaska trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Prudhoe Bay AK dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Prudhoe Bay AK home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Prudhoe Bay AK area programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Prudhoe Bay AK often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Alaska colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Prudhoe Bay AK college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that just because a school 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Prudhoe Bay AK area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Prudhoe Bay AK 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Prudhoe Bay AK dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Prudhoe Bay AK area schools you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Prudhoe Bay AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Prudhoe Bay AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Prudhoe Bay AK?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Prudhoe Bay Alaska area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
Prudhoe Bay /ˈpruːdoʊ/ or Sagavanirktok[pronunciation?] is a census-designated place (CDP) located in North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 2,174 people, up from just 5 residents in 2000; however, at any given time, several thousand transient workers support the Prudhoe Bay oil field. The airport, lodging, and general store are located at Deadhorse; the rigs and processing facilities are located on scattered gravel pads laid atop the tundra. It is only during winter that the surface is hard enough to support heavy equipment, and new construction happens at that time.
Prudhoe Bay is the unofficial northern terminus of the Pan-American Highway. The Bay itself is still 10 miles further north than a security checkpoint so open water is not visible from the highway. A few tourists, arriving by bus after a two-day ride up the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks, come to see the tundra, the Arctic Ocean, and the midnight sun, staying in lodgings assembled from modular buildings. Tours must be arranged in advance to see the Arctic Ocean and the Bay itself.
Prudhoe Bay was named in 1826 by British explorer Sir John Franklin after his classmate Captain Algernon Percy, Baron Prudhoe. Franklin traveled westerly along the coast from the mouth of the Mackenzie River in Canada almost to Point Barrow.
Top Dental Assistant Schools Prudhoe Bay Alaska
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is essential 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 Top Dental Assistant Schools and wanting info on Dental Assistant Program Online. But as you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend 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 better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Prudhoe Bay AK.
Other Alaska Dentistry Locations