How to Become a Dental Assistant in Prescott Arizona
Choosing the right dental assistant training course near Prescott AZ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting 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 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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Function of Dental Assistants in Prescott AZ
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Prescott AZ dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Options near Prescott AZ
Dental assistant courses are provided at Arizona junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive 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. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Prescott AZ dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Prescott AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed 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 dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Prescott AZ area colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Prescott AZ frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Prescott AZ school you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if 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 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 right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Prescott AZ area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Prescott AZ 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 Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 Prescott AZ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Prescott AZ area colleges you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Prescott AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Prescott AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Prescott AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Prescott Arizona that you may find helpful.
Prescott (/ˈprɛskət/ PRES-kət; Yavapai: ʼWi:kwatha Ksikʼita) is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.
The towns of Prescott Valley, 7 miles (11 km) east; Chino Valley, 16 miles (26 km) north; Dewey-Humboldt, 13 miles (21 km) east, and Prescott, together comprise what is locally known as the "Quad-City" area. This also sometimes refers to central Yavapai County in general, which would include the towns of: Mayer, Paulden, Wilhoit, and Williamson Valley. Combined with these smaller communities the area had a population of 103,260 as of 2007[update]. Prescott is the center of the Prescott Metropolitan Area, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as all of Yavapai County.
Arizona Territorial Governor John Noble Goodwin selected the original site of Prescott following his first tour of the new territory. Goodwin replaced Governor John A. Gurley, appointed by Abraham Lincoln, but died before taking office. Downtown streets in Prescott are named in honor of each of them. Goodwin selected a site 20 miles (32 km) south of the temporary capital on the east side of Granite Creek near a number of mining camps. The territorial capital was later moved to the new site along with Fort Whipple, with the new town named in honor of historian William H. Prescott during a public meeting on May 30, 1864. Robert W. Groom surveyed the new community, and an initial auction sold 73 lots on June 4, 1864. By July 4, 1864, a total of 232 lots had been sold within the new community. Prescott was officially incorporated in 1881.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Prescott AZ
Choosing the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Prescott AZ.
More Awesome Arizona Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 58