How to Become a Dental Assistant in Bentonville Arkansas
Choosing the right dental assistant training course near Bentonville AR is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more expense. 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 duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant in Bentonville AR
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Bentonville AR dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Arkansas dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many 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 Education Options near Bentonville AR
Dental assistant programs are provided at Arkansas community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Arkansas trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Bentonville AR dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Bentonville AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced 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 required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arkansas programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Bentonville AR area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Bentonville AR often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Arkansas colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Bentonville AR college you choose has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides enough 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, confirm that the Bentonville AR area college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Bentonville AR dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Bentonville AR dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Bentonville AR area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Bentonville AR.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Bentonville AR home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Bentonville AR?
Following is some interesting background information about Bentonville Arkansas that you may find helpful.
Bentonville is the ninth-largest city in Arkansas and the county seat of Benton County. The city is centrally located in the county with Rogers adjacent to the east. The city is the birthplace and world headquarters of Walmart, the world's largest retailer. It is one of the four main cities in the four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city itself had a population of 35,301 at the 2010 Census, with an estimated population of 47,093 in 2016.
The area now known as Bentonville's first known use by humans was as hunting grounds by the Osage Nation who lived in Missouri. The Osage would leave their settlements to hunt in present-day Benton County for months at a time before returning to their families. White settlers first inhabited the area around 1837 and named their settlement "Osage". By this time, the Osage had ceased using the area for hunting, and the white settlers began to establish farms. Upon establishment of Benton County on September 30, 1836, Osage was deemed a suitable site for the county seat, and the town square was established as the home of county government the following year. Osage was renamed Bentonville in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri who strongly supported Arkansas statehood.
Two years after Arkansas received statehood in 1836, thousands of Cherokee people from Georgia passed through Benton County as part of the Trail of Tears route to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. Although no Civil War battles were fought inside Bentonville, the city was occupied by both armies and saw almost all of its buildings burned, either by opposing armies or guerrilla outlaws. Bentonville was a staging point for the Confederate army prior to the Battle of Pea Ridge, fought about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of town, and the town saw a brief skirmish just prior to the battle. The city began to rebuild about a decade after incorporation on April 3, 1873, with many of these Reconstruction Era buildings today serving as the oldest structures in Bentonville.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Bentonville AR
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Bentonville AR.
More Awesome Arkansas Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 92