How to Choose the Right Dental Assistant College near Stewart Tennessee
Picking the right dental assistant school near Stewart TN is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile 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 cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Stewart TN dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Tennessee dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs
Dental assistant programs are offered at Tennessee community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. 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 Tennessee vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Stewart TN dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant course may be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Stewart TN home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Tennessee schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Stewart TN area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist 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 pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Stewart TN typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited Tennessee programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Stewart TN college you choose offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Stewart TN area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Stewart TN dental practice. They help 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 Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Stewart TN dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Stewart TN area schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Stewart TN.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Stewart TN home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Stewart TN?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Stewart Tennessee area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Stewart County, Tennessee
Stewart County was created in 1803 from a portion of Montgomery County, and was named for Duncan Stewart, an early settler and state legislator. During the Battle of Fort Donelson, the county seat, Dover, was burned by Union troops to prevent its capture by General Nathan B. Forrest.
Tobaccoport Saltpeter Cave was intensely mined for saltpeter, possibly during the War of 1812. Saltpeter is the main ingredient of gunpowder and was obtained by leaching the earth from the cave. This area fell under Union control in February 1862, early in the Civil War, and it seems unlikely that mining could have happened before that.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 493 square miles (1,280 km2), of which 459 square miles (1,190 km2) is land and 34 square miles (88 km2) (6.8%) is water. The county lies in a rugged section of the northwestern Highland Rim. The Cumberland River (part of Lake Barkley) traverses the county. The Tennessee River (part of Kentucky Lake) provides the county's border with Henry County to the west.
School Of Dental Assisting Stewart Tennessee
Choosing the right dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in School Of Dental Assisting and wanting info on How Long Is Dental Assistant Training. But as you now know, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to 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 better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Stewart TN.
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