How to Become a Dental Assistant in Monroeville Alabama
Choosing the right dental assistant program near Monroeville AL is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 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 typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Monroeville AL
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Monroeville AL dental office and can perform a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving 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 vary by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Monroeville AL
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. 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 Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Monroeville AL dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant course can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Monroeville AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Monroeville AL area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Monroeville AL typically desire 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 Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Monroeville AL college you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Monroeville AL area school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Monroeville AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Monroeville AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Monroeville AL area schools you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer 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 one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Monroeville AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Monroeville AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Monroeville AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Monroeville Alabama that you may find helpful.
It is known as the hometown of two prominent writers of the post-World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The lasting fame of To Kill a Mockingbird became a tourist draw for the town. In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama."
The town was initially known as Walker's Mill and Store, named for Major Walker, the area's first white settler. In 1832, the county seat was relocated to Monroeville from Claiborne on the Alabama River. The settlement was briefly renamed "Centerville" due to its location in the center of the county, but then it was formally changed to Monroeville. The town was not formally incorporated until April 15, 1899.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.6 km2) is land and 0.0077 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.05%, is water.
Select the Best Dental Assistant Program near Monroeville AL
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately one year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Monroeville AL.
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