How to Become a Dental Assistant in Parker Arizona
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Parker AZ is an essential 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 doing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months 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 complete. Obviously with the longer training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental 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 Role of a Dental Assistant in Parker AZ
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Parker AZ dental office and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s regulations. 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 choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Parker AZ
Dental assistant courses are available at Arizona community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive 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 almost every state. They are also offered in Arizona community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing 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 Parker AZ dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant course can be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Parker AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Parker AZ area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Parker AZ typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
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 Parker AZ school you select offers the program that you want. However, bear 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 might 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 best college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides 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 Parker AZ area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Parker AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Parker AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Parker AZ area schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Parker AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Parker AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Parker AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Parker Arizona that you may find helpful.
Parker (Mojave 'Amat Kuhwely, formerly 'Ahwe Nyava) is the county seat of La Paz County, Arizona, United States, on the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The population was 3,083 at the 2010 census.
Founded in 1908, the town was named after Ely Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government. The original town site of Parker was surveyed and laid out in 1909 by a railroad location engineer by the name of Earl. H. Parker for the Arizona & California Railway. The town officially incorporated in 1948 and became the county seat for the newly created La Paz county on January 1, 1983.
The town's name and origin began when a post office called Parker was established January 6, 1871, at Parker's Landing and the site of the Parker Indian Agency, named for Ely Parker, on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, 4 miles down river from the site of the railroad bridge of the modern town, to serve the Indian agency.:118 What became Parkers Landing was established on the river as the place to land and pick up cargo and personnel for the Indian Agency and the U. S. Army detachment that was stationed there at Camp Colorado from 1864 to 1869 during the first years of the Reservation. Camp Colorado was abandoned after wind blown sparks from the departing steamboat Cocopah rapidly burned down the brush huts of the officers of the garrison, and endangered its barracks and storehouses. :66, n.61
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Parker AZ
Choosing the right dental assistant course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your education 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Parker AZ.
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