How to Become a Dental Assistant in Burlingame California
Choosing the right dental assistant training course near Burlingame CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile 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 discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Burlingame CA
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Burlingame CA dental office and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- 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 office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the California dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Burlingame CA
Dental assistant programs are offered at California junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including 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 California 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 practical component to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Burlingame CA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant program can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Burlingame CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing California programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Burlingame CA area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, 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 School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Burlingame CA often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited California colleges.
Is The Right 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 Burlingame CA college you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college 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, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Burlingame CA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Burlingame CA 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 Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Burlingame CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the Burlingame CA area schools you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Burlingame CA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Burlingame CA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Burlingame CA?
Following is some interesting background information about Burlingame California that you may find helpful.
Burlingame /ˈbɜːrlɪŋɡeɪm/ is a city in San Mateo County, California. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and has a significant shoreline on San Francisco Bay. The city is named after diplomat Anson Burlingame and is often referred to as the City of Trees due to its numerous eucalyptus groves. Burlingame is known for its high residential quality of life with a walkable downtown area and excellent public school system. In August, 2017, the median home value in Burlingame was $2.05M. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Burlingame had a population of 28,806.
Burlingame is situated on land previously owned by San Francisco-based merchant William Davis Merry Howard. Howard planted many eucalyptus trees on his property and retired to live on the land. Howard died in 1856 and the land was sold to William C. Ralston, a prominent banker. In 1868, Ralston named the land after his friend, Anson Burlingame, the United States Ambassador to China. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, hundreds of lots in Burlingame were sold to people looking to establish new homes, and the town of Burlingame was incorporated in 1908. In 1910, the neighboring town of Easton was annexed and this area is now known as the Easton Addition neighborhood of Burlingame.
Burlingame is known as the City of Trees due to its over 18,000 public trees within the city. In 1908, the Burlingame board of trustees passed an ordinance "prohibiting cutting, injuring, or destroying trees". The city also has many parks and eucalyptus groves.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant Program near Burlingame CA
Picking the right dental assistant program is essential if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively 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 programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly one year of study prior to entering 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 decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Burlingame CA.
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