How to Become a Dental Assistant in Auburn University Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Auburn University AL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete 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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Auburn University AL
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Auburn University AL dental office and can carry out a variety of functions. Their fundamental job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alabama 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 opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Auburn University AL
Dental assistant programs are provided at Alabama junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Auburn University AL dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant course can be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Auburn University AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Auburn University AL area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several 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 almost all states. To qualify 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Auburn University AL frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Auburn University AL college you decide on has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Auburn University AL area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Auburn University AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Auburn University AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Auburn University AL area programs you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Auburn University AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near your Auburn University AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Auburn University AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Auburn University Alabama that you may find helpful.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a land-grant and public research university in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn University is one of the state's two public flagship universities.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. In 1964, under Federal Court mandate, AU admitted its first African American student.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Auburn University AL
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Auburn University AL.
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