How to Become a Dental Assistant in Dalton Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Dalton GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Dalton GA
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Dalton GA dental practice and can undertake a variety of functions. Their main job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing 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 differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Dalton GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Georgia community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Dalton GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant course can be a great option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Dalton GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Dalton GA area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college 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 program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement 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 guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Dalton GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Georgia programs.
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 make sure that the Dalton GA college you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if 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 solid 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, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Dalton GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Dalton GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Dalton GA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Dalton GA area colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Dalton GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Dalton GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Dalton GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Dalton Georgia that you may find helpful.
Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.
Dalton is home to many of the nation's floor-covering manufacturers, primarily those producing carpet, rugs and vinyl flooring. Like most towns that predate the Civil War, Dalton and the surrounding area saw skirmishes during the conflict. It is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and hosts a variety of events.
From June 2011 to June 2012 as carpet mills that had employed thousands restructured, downsized, cut back productivity and closed, Dalton lost 4,600 jobs—according to the U.S. Labor Department—making it the city with the worst job loss in the United States.
Find the Best Dental Assistant School near Dalton GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to receive your education 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Dalton GA.
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