How to Become a Dental Assistant in Agoura Hills California
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Agoura Hills CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. 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 have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile 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 cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Agoura Hills CA
Dental assistants are an important component of any Agoura Hills CA dental office and can perform a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the California dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Agoura Hills CA
Dental assistant programs are provided at California community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in California community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Agoura Hills CA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Agoura Hills CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing California schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Agoura Hills CA area schools 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 ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Agoura Hills CA often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited California programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Agoura Hills CA college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Agoura Hills CA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Agoura Hills CA 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Agoura Hills CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Agoura Hills CA area programs you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Agoura Hills CA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Agoura Hills CA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Agoura Hills CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Agoura Hills California that you may find helpful.
Agoura Hills, California
Agoura Hills (/əˈɡɒrə/ ( listen)) is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Its population was estimated to be at 20,843 in 2014, up from 20,537 at the 2000 census. It is in the eastern Conejo Valley between the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains. The city is on the border between the county of Los Angeles to the east and south, and Ventura County to the north and west. It is about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles and less than 10 miles (16 km) west of the Los Angeles city limits (Woodland Hills). Agoura Hills and unincorporated Agoura sit next to Calabasas, Oak Park, and Westlake Village.
The area was first settled by the Chumash Native Americans around 10,000 years ago. As the Alta California (Upper California) coast was settled by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the late 18th century, the El Camino Real (the Royal Road or King's Highway), a road from Loreto, Baja California, Mexico to Sonoma, California, and connecting the Spanish missions in California, was established through the heart of what would later be known as Agoura Hills.
In about 1800, Miguel Ortega was granted a Spanish grazing concession called Rancho Las Virgenes or El Rancho de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Las Virgenes. The grant was abandoned after Ortega's death in 1810, and José Maria Dominguez was given Rancho Las Virgenes as a Mexican land grant in 1834. Maria Antonia Machado de Reyes purchased the rancho from Dominguez in 1845. (The "Reyes Adobe" ranch headquarters sits today in central Agoura Hills, where it is part of the Reyes Adobe Museum built around 2004 and owned by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department.)
Pick the Right Dental Assistant School near Agoura Hills CA
Choosing the right dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to 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 in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Agoura Hills CA.
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East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine - Wikipedia
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