How to Become a Dental Assistant in Prescott Valley Arizona
Choosing the right dental assistant training course near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Prescott Valley AZ
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Prescott Valley AZ dental office and can carry out a multitude of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Prescott Valley AZ
Dental assistant programs are available at Arizona junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Arizona vocational 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 practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Prescott Valley AZ dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant course may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Prescott Valley AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. 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 needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Prescott Valley AZ area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. 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 exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Prescott Valley AZ typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Arizona programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Prescott Valley AZ school you select has the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Prescott Valley AZ area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Prescott Valley AZ dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Prescott Valley AZ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Prescott Valley AZ area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Prescott Valley AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Prescott Valley AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Prescott Valley AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Prescott Valley Arizona that you may find helpful.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley is a town with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents. It is located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000.
Prescott Valley (locally, PV) is located in central Arizona approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of Phoenix at 5,100 feet (1,600 m). elevation. PV has good access to Arizona State Route 89, SR-89A and SR-69, connecting to Interstates 17 and 40. Air service is available at Ernest A. Love Field, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest.
One of PV’s landmarks, Glassford Hill (elevation 6,177 feet (1,883 m)) was once an active volcano between 10 and 14 million years ago. Colonel William A. Glassford traveled the area in the 1880s and helped build a system of 27 heliograph stations to monitor the movements of Apache Indians, U.S. military troops and civilians. Glassford Hill was a part of that early communications system.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Prescott Valley AZ
Selecting the right dental assistant course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately one year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.
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