How to Become a Dental Assistant in Antioch California
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Antioch CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate 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 residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Antioch CA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Antioch CA dental office and can undertake a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the California dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Antioch CA
Dental assistant courses are provided at California community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 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 assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in California trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Antioch CA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Selecting an online dental assistant course may be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Antioch CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing California programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Antioch CA area schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Antioch CA typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited California programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Antioch CA college you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a college has a good reputation as well as 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Antioch CA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Antioch CA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Antioch CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Antioch CA area schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Antioch CA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Antioch CA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Antioch CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Antioch California that you may find helpful.
Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing, and Marshs Landing) is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.
Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.
In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Antioch CA
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous 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 training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Antioch CA.
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