How to Choose the Right Dental Assistant Degree Program near Eielson Afb Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Eielson Afb AK is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish 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. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Eielson Afb AK dental practice and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, 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
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alaska community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting 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 Alaska community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of 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. Some programs also sponsor internships with Eielson Afb AK dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant program may be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Eielson Afb AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Eielson Afb AK area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid 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 college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Eielson Afb AK frequently desire or require that job applicants 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 Alaska colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Eielson Afb AK school you decide on has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may 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 best college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Eielson Afb AK area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Eielson Afb AK 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 look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eielson Afb AK dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Eielson Afb AK area programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Eielson Afb AK.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Eielson Afb AK 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 making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Eielson Afb AK?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Eielson Afb Alaska area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Col. Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16 C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
Dental Assisting Programs Online Eielson Afb Alaska
Selecting the right dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Dental Assisting Programs Online and wanting info on Dentist Assistant College. But as we have covered, there are a number of options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount 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 schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose 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 appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Eielson Afb AK.
Other Alaska Dentistry Locations