How to Become a Dental Assistant in Wilkesboro North Carolina
Choosing the right dental assistant program near Wilkesboro NC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the college’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 time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should 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 Function of a Dental Assistant in Wilkesboro NC
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Wilkesboro NC dental office and can undertake a wide range of tasks. 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 opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the North Carolina dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Wilkesboro NC
Dental assistant courses are available at North Carolina junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can take 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 North Carolina vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Wilkesboro NC dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant program can be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Wilkesboro NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing North Carolina programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Wilkesboro NC area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program 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 Wilkesboro NC often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited North Carolina schools.
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 verify that the Wilkesboro NC college you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select provides enough 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, check that the Wilkesboro NC area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Wilkesboro NC dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Wilkesboro NC dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Wilkesboro NC area colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Wilkesboro NC.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Wilkesboro NC home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Wilkesboro NC?
Following is some interesting background information about Wilkesboro North Carolina that you may find helpful.
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
North Wilkesboro is a town in Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States. The population was approximately 4,116 at the 2000 census and is now 4,245 as of the 2010 census. North Wilkesboro is the birthplace and original home of Lowe's Home Improvement, which continues to have a major presence in the community. The town is also known as one of the birthplaces of the sport of stock-car racing, and the North Wilkesboro Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track. Due to the town's proximity to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains and the numerous tourist venues there, North Wilkesboro has been nicknamed the "Key to the Blue Ridge".
North Wilkesboro was founded in 1891 when the Norfolk and Southern Railroad built a railroad line into Wilkes County. The line ended on the northern bank of the Yadkin River opposite Wilkesboro, the county seat. The town of North Wilkesboro quickly developed around the railroad tracks. North Wilkesboro was the home of the Carolina Mirror Company, which for many years was the largest mirror factory in the United States. Although this is no longer the case, the town remains close to the industry through Gardner Glass Products Inc. Lowe's Foods, one of the Southeast's largest supermarket chains, was started in North Wilkesboro in 1954. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, the nation's second-largest chain of home-improvement stores, was started in North Wilkesboro in 1946. Like many small towns and cities in rural North Carolina, North Wilkesboro has suffered since 1990 from the closing of nearly all of its textile and furniture factories, which have moved to low-wage locations in Latin America and Asia. The factories were a major part of the town's economic base. North Wilkesboro does continue to host large corporate offices including Gardner Glass Products Inc., Window World, and ECMD.
The North Wilkesboro Speedway, located just outside the city limits, predates the founding of NASCAR; the speedway held its first race on May 18, 1947 and from there it grew in popularity. On October 16, 1949, the Speedway held the 8th and final race of the 1949 NASCAR Strictly Stock Division; when the race was over Robert "Red" Byron had become the first NASCAR-sanctioned champion. The North Wilkesboro Speedway held NASCAR races for 50 years; on September 29, 1996 Jeff Gordon would win the final race to be held at the speedway. In 1995, following the death of the long-time owner and track founder Enoch Staley, the speedway was purchased by two new owners, Bob Bahre and Bruton Smith. Soon after their purchase, both men announced that they were closing the speedway and moving its two NASCAR race dates to their new tracks in Texas and New Hampshire. The decision met with strong criticism from race fans. Since 1996 several unsuccessful attempts have been made to purchase and reopen the speedway to racing.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant Program near Wilkesboro NC
Picking the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately one year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Wilkesboro NC.
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