How to Become a Dental Assistant in Troy Alabama
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program near Troy AL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. 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 expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant in Troy AL
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Troy AL dental practice and can perform a myriad of duties. Their main job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ 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. A large number of 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 Education Programs near Troy AL
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alabama junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less 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 finish 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 interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Troy AL dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Choosing an online dental assistant course can be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Troy AL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Troy AL area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Troy AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Troy AL school you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Troy AL area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Troy AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching 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 Troy AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Troy AL area schools you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Troy AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Troy AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical 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 issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Troy AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Troy Alabama that you may find helpful.
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the fourth-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.
Select the Right Dental Assistant Program near Troy AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Troy AL.
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