How to Become a Dental Assistant in Thonotosassa Florida
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Thonotosassa FL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. 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. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in Thonotosassa FL
Dental assistants are an important component of any Thonotosassa FL dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Florida dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Thonotosassa FL
Dental assistant programs are offered at Florida junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require 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 Florida community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Thonotosassa FL dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Thonotosassa FL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Florida schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Thonotosassa FL area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Thonotosassa FL frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Florida schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Thonotosassa FL school you select offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school 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, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Thonotosassa FL area college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Thonotosassa FL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Thonotosassa FL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Thonotosassa FL area colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Thonotosassa FL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Thonotosassa FL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Thonotosassa FL?
Following is some interesting background information about Thonotosassa Florida that you may find helpful.
The name "Thonotosassa" comes from the Seminole-Creek words thlonto and sasse, meaning the place was a source of valuable flint. Following the establishment of Fort Brooke in 1824 in what is now Tampa, a road that ran northwest of Lake Thonotosassa was built between Fort Brooke and Fort King in Ocala. This road became known as the Fort King Road, which today is crossed in several locations by U.S. Route 301. Nevertheless, the presence of a Seminole village largely discouraged whites from moving into the area. After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, whites began to settle.
In 1893, the Tampa and Thonotosassa Railroad opened a 13-mile (21 km) route between the two growing communities. This line today no longer extends into Thonotosassa, its northern tracks having been removed along with the town depot by the 1980s, but its southern portion remains a busy industrial spur, joining with the CSX main line at Neve Wye.
Thonotosassa is located in northeastern Hillsborough County at 28°3′22″N 82°17′34″W / 28.05611°N 82.29278°W / 28.05611; -82.29278 (28.056135, -82.292663). It is bordered to the southwest by East Lake-Orient Park, and to the south by Mango and Seffner. The unincorporated community of Antioch is on the eastern edge of the CDP.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Thonotosassa FL
Picking the ideal dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect 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 better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Thonotosassa FL.
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