How to Pick the Best Dental Assistant School near Lanett Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Lanett AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Lanett AL dental office and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving 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 differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can require 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 Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Lanett AL dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant program might be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Lanett AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far 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 as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Lanett AL area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of 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 requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, 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 Lanett AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Lanett AL college you decide on has 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 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, clearly it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Lanett AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Lanett AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lanett AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the Lanett AL area schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lanett AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Lanett AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Lanett AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Lanett Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Lanett is a city in Chambers County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,468, down from 7,897 in 2000. Lanett, originally called Bluffton, is located in eastern Alabama, on the Chattahoochee River, southwest of Atlanta. The city's name is derived from Lafayette Lanier and Theodore Bennett, founders of the West Point Manufacturing Company.
Lanett is located on the eastern edge of Chambers County at 32°51'48.326" North, 85°11'58.862" West (32.863424, -85.199684). Its eastern boundary is the Alabama–Georgia state line, with the town of West Point, Georgia, bordering Lanett to the east. Interstate 85 forms the southeast boundary of Lanett, with the city of Valley, Alabama, on the other side of the highway. The unincorporated community of Huguley is along Lanett's southwest border.
The Chattahoochee River forms the state line and eastern boundary of Lanett from I-85 north to the downtown area, at which point the state line turns north-northwest and becomes a land boundary between Lanett and West Point, Georgia.
Colleges With Dental Assistant Programs Lanett Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges With Dental Assistant Programs and wanting info on Do You Need A Degree To Be A Dental Assistant. But as you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain 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 community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education 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 as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lanett AL.
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