Find Dental Assistant Schools Near Me in Atherton CA 94027

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Atherton California

Atherton CA dental assistant working with dentistSelecting the right dental assistant program near Atherton CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months 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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.

The Function of Dental Assistants in Atherton CA

Atherton CA dental assistant and oral surgeonDental assistants are an important part of any Atherton CA dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying 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 California dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Assistant Education Programs near Atherton CA

Dental assistant courses are provided at California community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in California vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Atherton CA dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Assistant Training

attending dental assistant school online in Atherton CAEnrolling in an online dental assistant course can be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Atherton CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.

Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Schools

Atherton CA dental assistant with dentist and patientOnce you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the process of comparing California schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Atherton CA area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Atherton CA typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited California schools.

Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Atherton CA school you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.

Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Atherton CA area  college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Atherton CA dental practice. They help 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 as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Atherton CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Atherton CA area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, 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 enrolling.

What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Atherton CA.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Atherton CA 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 procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Atherton CA?

Following is some interesting background information about Atherton California that you may find helpful.

Atherton, California

Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. In 1990, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2500 and 9,999,[11] and it is regularly ranked among the most expensive zip codes in the country.[12][13][14]

In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.

In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the Town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.[15][16]

The location could not be found.

Choose the Right Dental Assistant School near Atherton CA

Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Atherton CA.

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