How to Find the Right Dental Assistant Degree Program near Auburn Alabama
Picking the right dental assistant school near Auburn AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Auburn AL dental practice and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing 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 differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama 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 clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Auburn AL dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant school may be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Auburn AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Auburn AL area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, 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 Auburn AL frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Auburn AL college you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Auburn AL area program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Auburn AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Auburn AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Auburn AL area colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether 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 programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Auburn AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Auburn AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Auburn AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Auburn Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2018 population of 65,738. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.
How Long To Be A Dental Assistant Auburn Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long To Be A Dental Assistant and wanting info on Schools With Dental Assistant Programs. But as we have covered, there are several options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Auburn AL.
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