How to Become a Dental Assistant in Glennallen Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Glennallen AK 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 picking the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical 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 complete. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing 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 Glennallen AK
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Glennallen AK dental office and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many 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 Training Options near Glennallen AK
Dental assistant programs are offered at Alaska community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant 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 Alaska 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 clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Glennallen AK dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant school may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Glennallen AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added 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 needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Glennallen AK area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at 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 right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Glennallen AK frequently prefer 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 offered for non-accredited Alaska colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Glennallen AK college you choose has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Glennallen AK area program 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 programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Glennallen AK 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools 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 Glennallen AK dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Glennallen AK area schools you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Glennallen AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Glennallen AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need 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 because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Glennallen AK?
Following is some interesting background information about Glennallen Alaska that you may find helpful.
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Glennallen AK
Selecting the right dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to receive your education 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking 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 Glennallen AK.
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Course Descriptions < University of Alaska Fairbanks
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The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual. Learn more about the university's notice of nondiscrimination .