How to Become a Dental Assistant in Canton Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Canton GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Canton GA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Canton GA dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Canton GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. 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 Georgia trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing 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 offer internships with Canton GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Canton GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Canton GA area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Canton GA typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Canton GA school you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that even if a school has a good reputation as well as 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Canton GA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Canton GA 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Canton GA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Canton GA area schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Canton GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Canton GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Canton GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Canton Georgia that you may find helpful.
Canton is located near the center of Cherokee County at 34°13′38″N 84°29′41″W / 34.22722°N 84.49472°W / 34.22722; -84.49472 (34.227307, −84.494727). The city lies just north of Holly Springs and south of Ball Ground. Interstate 575 passes through the eastern side of the city, with access from exits 14 through 20. Canton is 40 miles (64 km) north of downtown Atlanta via I-575 and I-75.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48.5 km2), of which 18.6 square miles (48.2 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.76%, is water. The Etowah River, a tributary of the Coosa River, flows from east to west through the center of the city.
As of the 2010 census, there were 22,958 people, 8,204 households, and 5,606 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,234.3 people per square mile (476.8/km²). There were 9,341 housing units at an average density of 502.2 per square mile (194.0/km²).
Pick the Best Dental Assistant College near Canton GA
Picking the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Canton GA.
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