How to Become a Dental Assistant in Enterprise Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant training course near Enterprise AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Enterprise AL
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Enterprise AL dental practice and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to give 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 receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Enterprise AL
Dental assistant courses are offered at Alabama junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating 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 nearly 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 sponsor internships with Enterprise AL dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program may be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Enterprise AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Enterprise AL area colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify 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 training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Enterprise AL frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Enterprise AL college you decide on has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Enterprise AL area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Enterprise AL dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Enterprise AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Enterprise AL area colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are 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 most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether 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 examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Enterprise AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Enterprise AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Enterprise AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Enterprise Alabama that you may find helpful.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County near the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Enterprise AL
Selecting the right dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Enterprise AL.
More Awesome Alabama Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 17