How to Become a Dental Assistant in Piedmont Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Piedmont AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial 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 time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to complete 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 more extensive training comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Piedmont AL
Dental assistants are an important part of any Piedmont AL dental office and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, 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. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Piedmont AL
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Piedmont AL dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a good alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Piedmont AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure 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. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Piedmont AL area colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Piedmont AL often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Correct 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 Piedmont AL college you decide on has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Piedmont AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Piedmont AL dental practice. They make it easier for 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 too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Piedmont AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Piedmont AL area programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Piedmont AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Piedmont AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Piedmont AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Piedmont Alabama that you may find helpful.
Piedmont is a city in Calhoun and Cherokee counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The population was 4,878 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Many surrounding communities are served by the 36272 ZIP code, including Spring Garden, Rock Run, Knighten's Crossroads, and Nance's Creek. The current mayor is Bill Baker, who was chosen by the city council to lead after elected mayor Rick Freeman resigned due to medical issues.
The area now known as Piedmont is a community that began in the early 1840s, located at the crossroads of two early post roads. Major Jacob Forney Dailey of North Carolina came to Alabama in 1848 and bought land in present-day Piedmont. Major Dailey named the area Cross Plains, and an official post office with that name was established on September 22, 1851.
In Reconstruction-era Alabama, an incident at Cross Plains affected race relations and the future of the northeast section of the state for generations as a result of the lynching of William Luke, a northern missionary, and several other men in 1870. In that year, the new northern-owned railroad to connect Washington, D.C. and the North with New Orleans was to have its headquarters near the small northeast Alabama town, at Patona. After the Ku Klux Klan-led lynchings, however, the headquarters was moved, and the town never achieved the dominant position in Calhoun County, with Anniston, founded the next year, achieving that status instead.
Select the Best Dental Assistant College near Piedmont AL
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Piedmont AL.
More Awesome Alabama Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 14