How to Become a Dental Assistant in Luke Afb Arizona
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Luke Afb AZ 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 completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months 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 finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should 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 Luke Afb AZ
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Luke Afb AZ dental practice and can perform a variety of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Luke Afb AZ
Dental assistant programs are provided at Arizona junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Luke Afb AZ dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Selecting an online dental assistant course can be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Luke Afb AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can start the process of comparing Arizona programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Luke Afb AZ area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Luke Afb AZ typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Arizona schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Luke Afb AZ school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation as well as 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Luke Afb AZ area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Luke Afb AZ dental practice. They help 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Luke Afb AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Luke Afb AZ area programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Luke Afb AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Luke Afb AZ home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Luke Afb AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Luke Afb Arizona that you may find helpful.
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles (6.1 nmi; 11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is about 15 miles (13 nmi; 24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.
Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced. On 16 July 2013, the Air Force announced that Luke AFB will house a total of 144 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Luke Air Force Base is an active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base with 170 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW), under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant School near Luke Afb AZ
Picking the right dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Luke Afb AZ.
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