How to Become a Dental Assistant in Auburn California
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Auburn CA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to 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 provided.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Auburn CA
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Auburn CA dental practice and can undertake a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing 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 dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Auburn CA
Dental assistant programs are available at California junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in California community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing 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 Auburn CA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant course can be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Auburn CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing California programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Auburn CA area colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Auburn CA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited California programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Auburn CA school you choose offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers adequate 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, make sure that the Auburn CA area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Auburn CA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Auburn CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Auburn CA area programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Auburn CA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Auburn CA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Auburn CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Auburn California that you may find helpful.
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California. Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Auburn is part of Greater Sacramento and is home to the Auburn State Recreation Area. The park is the site of more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States Endurance Run; the Western States Trail Ride, also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride; American River 50 Mile Endurance Run; American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride; Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run; Auburn International Half-Ironman Triathlon; Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride, Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run, Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run, and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.
Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area. The indigenous Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Auburn CA
Choosing the right dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly 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 schools usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Auburn CA.
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