How to Become a Dental Assistant in Marana Arizona
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Marana AZ is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting 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 normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Marana AZ
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Marana AZ dental practice and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for example pediatrics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Arizona dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. 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 Training Options near Marana AZ
Dental assistant courses are available at Arizona junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide 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 Arizona trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Marana AZ dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant program may be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Marana AZ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Arizona schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Marana AZ area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Marana AZ typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Arizona colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Marana AZ school you select has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Marana AZ area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Marana AZ dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Marana AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Marana AZ area colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Marana AZ.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Marana AZ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Marana AZ?
Following is some interesting background information about Marana Arizona that you may find helpful.
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
Select the Best Dental Assistant Program near Marana AZ
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period 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 normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training 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 Marana AZ.
More Awesome Arizona Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 321