How to Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Woodruff South Carolina
Choosing the right dental assistant school near Woodruff SC is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making 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 program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent 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 complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and additional 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 Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important part of any Woodruff SC dental office and can perform a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the South Carolina dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs
Dental assistant programs are offered at South Carolina community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in South Carolina trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Woodruff SC dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Woodruff SC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing South Carolina programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Woodruff SC area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Woodruff SC often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited South Carolina colleges.
Is The Correct 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 Woodruff SC school you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, bear 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 school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Woodruff SC area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Woodruff SC 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Woodruff SC dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Woodruff SC area programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask 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 teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost based on the length 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 besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Woodruff SC.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Woodruff SC home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Woodruff SC?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Woodruff South Carolina area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Woodruff, South Carolina
The earliest history of this area begins with the membership of the Church of Christ on Jamey's Creek dated September 18, 1787. The church was named for Jamey's Creek, now called Jimmie's Creek, which heads off McArthur Street behind the Woodruff State Branch Bank on North Main Street. The early members traveled some distance to attend this church. They were from the communities of Cavins, Enoree, Crescent, Switzer and even others in Laurens County. Most of the early settlers had come from Virginia and North Carolina. They were primarily veterans of the Revolution and their families.
Joseph Woodruff received a grant of 200 acres (81 ha), which would later become the site of the city of Woodruff. He came to this area from the Yadkin River valley in North Carolina after his service in the Revolution. The first census of Spartanburg District, in 1790, shows who his neighbors were. All of these people were farmers. There were a few country stores in those days, and these were supplied by "Wagoner's".
One of Joseph Woodruff's sons, Thomas, remained in the area and dreamed of founding a town, but he did not live to see Woodruff incorporated. His two sons, Dr. Charles Pinckney Woodruff and Captain A. B. Woodruff, were most instrumental in carrying out their father's wishes. Therefore, the town was named in Thomas Woodruff's honor.
How To Choose Accredited Dental Assistant Training Woodruff South Carolina
Choosing the right dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Choose Accredited Dental Assistant Training and wanting info on Online Dental Assisting Programs. But as you now know, there are many options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Woodruff SC.
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