How to Choose the Best Dental Assistant College near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Tuscaloosa AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the school’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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Tuscaloosa AL dental office and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 also. Some programs also offer internships with Tuscaloosa AL dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant course may be a good option for receiving 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 remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Tuscaloosa AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama 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 search for several online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Tuscaloosa AL area programs you are comparing 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 ideal dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Tuscaloosa AL frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Tuscaloosa AL college you decide on offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has a good 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 Tuscaloosa AL area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Tuscaloosa AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Tuscaloosa AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Tuscaloosa AL area colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses 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 include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Tuscaloosa AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Tuscaloosa AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need 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 responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Tuscaloosa AL?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Tuscaloosa Alabama area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUS-kə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Dental Assistant Technical Schools Tuscaloosa Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Dental Assistant Technical Schools and wanting info on Dentist Assistant Classes. But as we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Tuscaloosa AL.
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Accelerated Dental Assisting
“I went through the Accelerated Dental Assisting Academy Program at the Madison campus and absolutely loved it! Dental assisting was something I’ve been wanting to do but my pre-requisites didn’t meet the needs for the program at the community college near me. Needless to say, I made the best decision.
Dental Assistant Schools in Alabama | Training and ...
Coursework in a dental assisting program often includes study in the following areas: Dental anatomy and terminology. Dental specialties. Diet and nutrition. Oral pathology. Microbiology. Patient psychology. CPR. Office management. Radiograph. Dental law and ethics.
Top Dental Assistant Schools in Alabama | AL Dental ...
Salaries for Dental Assistants in Alabama Salaries for dental assistants in Alabama vary throughout the state. In Mobile, the median annual wage for 2012 was $33,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary in Birmingham was $32,400, while Gadsden dental aid or assistants earned $29,100.
Dental Assisting - School of Dentistry | UAB
Housed within Alabama’s dental school, the UAB’s Dental Assisting Program helps position graduates for careers in oral healthcare. The yearlong program includes lectures, demonstrations, and rotations within the school and private dental offices where students engage in broad-based clinical experiences, from pediatric dentistry and orthodontics to comprehensive care, hospital dentistry and more.
Alabama Dental Assistant School | Accelerated Dental ...
Alabama Dental Assistant School offers an accelerated 9-week dental assistant program with classes held only once a week. We provide both in-person and online learning that focuses on preparing students for their new career.
2020 Top Colleges for Dental Studies in Alabama - Niche
The Top Colleges for Dental Studies list is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Compare top schools for dental hygienists, dental assistant programs, and dental school training and certification programs. Read more on how this ranking was calculated.
9 Dental Assistant Schools in AL - Easy & Awesome
Dental Assisting Birmingham-Hoover, AL. Fortis Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Birmingham, AL. The... Cullman, AL. The Associate’s program at George C Wallace State Community College is offered at their campus in the town... Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL. The ...
Dental Assistant Schools in Alabama (AL) | Dental Assistant
Find Alabama dental assistant schools and training programs. Gain skills needed to join the field of dental assisting in Mobile, Montgomery, and other AL Cities
Dental Assistant Schools in Alabama & Online
Alabama Dental Assisting Schools Find an accredited Alabama or online school with certified dental assistant training classes, diploma, or associate degree programs. Become a dental assistant in 9 months to 2 years depending on the program you choose. Listed colleges have financial aid assistance for students who qualify.
Alabama Dental Assistant Schools
The Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship is one option for students at dental hygienist schools in Alabama. Working as a Dental Assistant in Alabama After completing a degree at one of the local dentist schools, Alabama graduates may look for positions in private clinics and community dental clinics. The average dental assistant salary In Alabama is ...