Find Dental Assistant Schools Near Me in Harrison AR 72601

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Harrison Arkansas

Harrison AR dental assistant working with dentistPicking the ideal dental assistant training course near Harrison AR is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues 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 roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.

The Role of a Dental Assistant in Harrison AR

Harrison AR dental assistant and oral surgeonDental assistants are an indispensable component of any Harrison AR dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However most assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:

  • Scheduling and verifying appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Purchasing dental and office supplies

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Arkansas dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Assistant Training Options near Harrison AR

Dental assistant courses are provided at Arkansas junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common 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, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Arkansas community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Harrison AR dentists or dental practices.

Dental Assistant Online Classes

attending dental assistant school online in Harrison AREnrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Harrison AR home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Dental Assistant Programs

Harrison AR dental assistant with dentist and patientWhen you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Arkansas programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective 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 relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Harrison AR area schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify 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 education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Harrison AR often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited Arkansas schools.

Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Harrison AR school you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the right school for you.

Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important 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. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Harrison AR area  college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Harrison AR dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Harrison AR dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.

Are Classes Small? Ask the Harrison AR area programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Harrison AR.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Harrison AR home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Harrison AR?

Following is some interesting background information about Harrison Arkansas that you may find helpful.

Harrison, Arkansas

Harrison is a city in Boone County, Arkansas, United States. It is the county seat of Boone County. It is named after General Marcus LaRue Harrison, a surveyor that laid out the city along Crooked Creek at Stifler Springs.[4] According to 2012 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 13,163,[5] up from 12,943 at the 2010 census.[6] Harrison is the principal city of the Harrison Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boone and Newton counties.

Race riots by white residents in 1905 and 1909 drove away blacks, establishing Harrison as a sundown town.[7] Today it is known as a center of white supremacist activity, including the national headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.[8]

Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, the first probably being cliff dwellers who lived in caves in the bluffs along the rivers. In later times, the Osage, a branch of the Sioux, was the main tribe in the Ozarks, and one of their larger villages is thought to have been to the east of the present site of Harrison. The Shawnee, Quapaw, and Caddo people were also familiar to the area.

The location could not be found.

Enroll in the Best Dental Assistant Program near Harrison AR

Picking the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided 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 Harrison AR.

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