How to Become a Dental Assistant in Pennington Alabama
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Pennington AL is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, for instance the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant in Pennington AL
Dental assistants are an important part of any Pennington AL dental office and can perform a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- 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 differ by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Pennington AL
Dental assistant programs are available at Alabama community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one 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 take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Pennington AL dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school can be a great option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Pennington AL home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Pennington AL area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Pennington AL often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Pennington AL school you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could 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 ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Pennington AL area college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Pennington AL dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Pennington AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Pennington AL area colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Pennington AL.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Pennington AL home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Pennington AL?
Following is some interesting background information about Pennington Alabama that you may find helpful.
As of the census of 2000, there were 353 people, 142 households, and 103 families residing in the town. The population density was 188.6 people per square mile (72.9/km²). There were 197 housing units at an average density of 105.3 per square mile (40.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.31% White, 34.84% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% from other races.
There were 142 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant School near Pennington AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Pennington AL.
More Awesome Alabama Cities