How to Become a Dental Assistant in Glendale Arizona
Picking the ideal dental assistant training course near Glendale AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’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 depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing 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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Glendale AZ
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Glendale AZ dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Glendale AZ
Dental assistant programs are offered at Arizona community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Arizona trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Glendale AZ dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Glendale AZ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced 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 proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Glendale AZ area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Glendale AZ frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Glendale AZ college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation and 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Glendale AZ area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Glendale AZ dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Glendale AZ area schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Glendale AZ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Glendale AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Glendale AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Glendale Arizona that you may find helpful.
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located about nine miles (14 km) northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 226,721.
In the late 1800s what is now known as Glendale, Arizona, was all desert. William John Murphy, a native of New Hartford, New York, who resided in the town of Flagstaff in what was then known as the territory of Arizona, was in charge of building a 40-mile-long (64 km) Arizona Canal from Granite Reef to New River for the Arizona Canal Company. In 1885, he completed the canal, which would bring water to the desert land. Murphy was deep in debt, since he had agreed to be paid in Arizona Canal Company stock and bonds and land instead of cash.
In 1887, Murphy formed the Arizona Improvement Company. His objective was to sell the land and water rights south of the canal. Murphy had to raise capital from out of state sources in order to meet payroll and construction expenses. Murphy decided to refer to this land as "Glendale". In order to develop and interest potential investors and settlers in this new town, Murphy decided to provide a better way of access from Phoenix to Glendale and ending in the town of Peoria by building an 18-mile-long (29 km) diagonal road which he named Grand Avenue.
Find the Best Dental Assistant Program near Glendale AZ
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Glendale AZ.
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