How to Become a Dental Assistant in Springfield Kentucky
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Springfield KY is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in Springfield KY
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Springfield KY dental office and can perform a myriad of duties. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Kentucky dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Springfield KY
Dental assistant courses are available at Kentucky junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Kentucky community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Springfield KY dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely 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 convenience of your Springfield KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Kentucky schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Springfield KY area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program 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 Springfield KY typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited Kentucky colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Springfield KY school you select 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 each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Springfield KY area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Springfield KY 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 Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Springfield KY dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Springfield KY area colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Springfield KY.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Springfield KY home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Springfield KY?
Following is some interesting background information about Springfield Kentucky that you may find helpful.
Springfield, noted by filmmakers as Hollywood South, is the site of Kentucky’s first and only movie sound stage. The Springfield Bonded Film Complex came about as a part of the burgeoning film industry in Kentucky, ushered in by the state’s film tax credit. This tax credit has the distinction as the most generous in the nation.
Springfield is located at 37°41′11″N 85°13′19″W / 37.68639°N 85.22194°W / 37.68639; -85.22194 (37.686328, -85.221955). Springfield is located approximately 15 miles east of Bardstown, 10 miles north of Lebanon, and 17 miles west of Danville.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,634 people, 1,166 households, and 711 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,048.5 per square mile (404.8/km2). There were 1,239 housing units at an average density of 493.2/sq mi (190.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.68% White, 22.40% African American, 0.53% Asian, 0.80% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Springfield KY
Choosing the right dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Springfield KY.
More Awesome Kentucky Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 7