How to Become a Dental Assistant in Covington Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant training course near Covington GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. 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 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. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Covington GA
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Covington GA dental practice and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as orthodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering 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 regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. 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 Programs near Covington GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Georgia trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Covington GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Covington GA 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 charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Covington GA area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 establish that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Covington GA typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Covington GA school you select offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent 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 could 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 ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Covington GA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Covington GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Covington GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Covington GA area programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Covington GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near your Covington GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Covington GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Covington Georgia that you may find helpful.
Covington was founded by European immigrants to the United States. It was incorporated in 1822 as the seat of the newly organized Newton County. Covington was named for United States Army Brigadier General and United States Congressman Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812. The settlement grew with the advent of the railroad in 1845. Covington incorporated as a city in 1854.
The Covington Historic District and the North Covington Historic District within the city are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The maps and materials describing these two districts are available for review through City Hall. The Covington Historic District contains Floyd Street and the downtown square. The North Covington Historic District contains North Emory Street and Odum Street as its hub. Both districts have an ordinance to preserve their character, regulating changes proposed for properties, and special permits may be required.
The Covington Mill Village is also a vital part of local history. The Starrsville Historic District, site of the historic settlement of Starrsville, is in the exurban area around Covington. The Newton County Courthouse, brick store, and Salem campground are separately NRHP-listed.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Covington GA
Picking the ideal dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing 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 Covington GA.
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