How to Become a Dental Assistant in Beale Afb California
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Beale Afb CA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, including 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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually 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 two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Beale Afb CA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Beale Afb CA dental office and can undertake a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the California dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Beale Afb CA
Dental assistant courses are offered at California community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in California community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Beale Afb CA dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a great alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Beale Afb CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing California schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Beale Afb CA area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Beale Afb CA frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited California schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Beale Afb CA college you select has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Beale Afb CA area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Beale Afb CA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Beale Afb CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Beale Afb CA area schools you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Beale Afb CA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Beale Afb CA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Beale Afb CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Beale Afb California that you may find helpful.
Beale Air Force Base
The host unit at Beale is the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW) assigned to the Air Combat Command and part of Twelfth Air Force. The 9 RW collects intelligence essential for Presidential and Congressional decisions critical to the national defense. To accomplish this mission, the wing is equipped with the nation's fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft and associated support equipment. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its combat support and combat service support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies.
Beale AFB was established in 1942 as Camp Beale and is named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822–1893), a former Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and a Brigadier General in the California Militia who was an explorer and frontiersman in California. Camp Beale became a United States Air Force installation on 1 April 1951 and was renamed Beale Air Force Base.
Beale AFB is the home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9 RW), which also serves as the host wing for the base. The installation is located outside of Linda, about 10 miles (16 km) east of the towns of Marysville and Yuba City and about 40 miles (64 km) north of Sacramento. Beale is a large base in terms of land and has five gates providing access on all sides of the base. Visitors enter the base through a main gate that local merchants, individuals and the Beale Military Liaison Committee donated $100,000 to construct. The base is home for approximately 4,000 military personnel.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant School near Beale Afb CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Beale Afb CA.
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