How to Enroll In the Best Dental Assistant College near Tenakee Springs Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Tenakee Springs AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze 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 factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 commit. The most common dental assistant program generally 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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues 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 available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Tenakee Springs AK dental practice and can carry out a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. However most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying 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 differ by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Training Programs
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alaska junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can require 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 Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. 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 Tenakee Springs AK dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Tenakee Springs AK home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alaska programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Tenakee Springs AK area schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included 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 School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Tenakee Springs AK often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Tenakee Springs AK school you select offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a school 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Tenakee Springs AK area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Tenakee Springs AK dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Tenakee Springs AK dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Tenakee Springs AK area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 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 offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Tenakee Springs AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides 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 Tenakee Springs AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Tenakee Springs AK?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Tenakee Springs Alaska area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Tenakee Springs, Alaska
Tenakee Springs (Tlingit: Tlaaguwu Aan) is a city on Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 131, up from 104 at the 2000 census.
Tenakee Springs is located on the northern part of Chichagof Island at 57°46′41″N 135°13′11″W / 57.77806°N 135.21972°W / 57.77806; -135.21972 (57.778095, -135.219618), on the north side of Tenakee Inlet, about 10 miles (16 km) west of its mouth in Chatham Strait.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.1 square miles (49.5 km2), of which 14.2 square miles (36.7 km2) are land and 4.9 square miles (12.8 km2), or 25.78%, are water.
Dental Assistant Associates Degree Tenakee Springs Alaska
Choosing the right dental assistant program is crucial 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 Dental Assistant Associates Degree and wanting info on Education Requirements For Dental Assistant. But as you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Tenakee Springs AK.
Other Alaska Dentistry Locations