How to Become a Dental Assistant in Colquitt Georgia
Choosing the right dental assistant program near Colquitt GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing 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 significant factors to consider as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant in Colquitt GA
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Colquitt GA dental practice and can perform a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Colquitt GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish 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 nearly 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 practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Colquitt GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program may be a great option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Colquitt GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Colquitt GA area programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify 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 receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Colquitt GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Colquitt GA college you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Colquitt GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Colquitt GA dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Colquitt GA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Colquitt GA area programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ 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 in addition to the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Colquitt GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near your Colquitt GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Colquitt GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Colquitt Georgia that you may find helpful.
Colquitt is a city in Miller County, in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 1,939 at the 2000 census. Colquitt is the county seat of Miller County, a role it has held since just after Miller County was created by the Georgia Legislature in 1856. The city formally incorporated on December 19, 1860, and is Miller County's only incorporated municipality. Colquitt is named for U.S. Congressman and Senator, Walter Terry Colquitt.
Colquitt is located at 31°10′23″N 84°43′43″W / 31.17306°N 84.72861°W / 31.17306; -84.72861 (31.173090, -84.728512). The city is located along U.S. Route 27, Georgia State Route 45, and Georgia State Route 91 in southwestern Georgia. Colquitt is located approximately 90 mi (140 km) south of Columbus, 44 mi (71 km) southwest of Albany, and 57 mi (92 km) northwest of Tallahassee, Florida.
In December 2003, the musical play "A Southern Christmas Carol" by award-winning playwright Rob Lauer, made its world premiere at Colquitt's Cotton Hall Theatre. Featuring a New York City-based cast of professional actors, the show was a critical and box-office success. The show was presented at Cotton Hall again in 2004 and 2005—attracting Holiday season tourists to Colquitt from throughout the south-eastern U.S. "A Southern Christmas Carol" has, in the years since, become an increasing popular Holiday season show that is produced by theatres throughout the south-eastern United States.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant School near Colquitt GA
Selecting the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Colquitt GA.
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