How to Become a Dental Assistant in Fayette Alabama
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Fayette AL is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, 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 depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations 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 offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Fayette AL
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Fayette AL dental office and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying 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 Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Fayette AL
Dental assistant courses are available at Alabama community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Fayette AL dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant school might be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fayette AL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Fayette AL area colleges 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 due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Fayette AL typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Fayette AL school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as 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 solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Fayette AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Fayette AL 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 are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fayette AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the Fayette AL area programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Fayette AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Fayette AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Fayette AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Fayette Alabama that you may find helpful.
Originally known as "La Fayette", it incorporated on January 15, 1821. When Fayette County was created in 1824, the town's name was officially changed to "Fayette Court House", though it was also known as "Fayetteville", which was the name shown on maps and on the U.S. Census in 1880 and 1890. It was officially shortened to "Fayette" in 1898.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,922 people, 2,092 households, and 1,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.1 people per square mile (222.0/km²). There were 2,336 housing units at an average density of 273.0 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.34% White, 23.38% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. One percent of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,092 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.85.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant Program near Fayette AL
Selecting the right dental assistant program is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly one year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Fayette AL.
More Awesome Alabama Cities