How to Become a Dental Assistant in Brea California
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Brea CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing 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 significant factors to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Brea CA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Brea CA dental practice and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling 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 dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Brea CA
Dental assistant courses are provided at California community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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 aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Brea CA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant course may be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Brea CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing California programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Brea CA area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Brea CA often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited California schools.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Brea CA college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a college 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 solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 Brea CA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Brea CA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Brea CA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Brea CA area colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Brea CA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Brea CA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical 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 Brea CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Brea California that you may find helpful.
The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed and located throughout the city. Brea's public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many public art programs across the United States.
The area was visited on July 29, 1769 by the Spanish Portolá expedition – the first Europeans to see inland parts of Alta California. The party camped in Brea Canyon, near a large native village and a small pool of clean water. A historical marker dedicated to his visit stands in Brea Canyon just north of town.
The village of Olinda was founded in present-day Carbon Canyon at the beginning of the 19th century and many entrepreneurs came to the area searching for "black gold" (petroleum). In 1894, the owner of the land, Abel Stearns, sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California, and by 1898 many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil-drilling towers on the newly discovered Brea-Olinda Oil Field. In 1908 the village of Randolph, named for railway engineer Epes Randolph, was founded just south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families. Baseball legend Walter Johnson grew up in Olinda at the start of the 20th century where he worked in the surrounding oil fields as a youth.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant College near Brea CA
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Brea CA.
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