Find Dental Assistant Schools Near Me in Decatur GA 30030

How to Become a Dental Assistant in Decatur Georgia

Decatur GA dental assistant working with dentistSelecting the right dental assistant school near Decatur GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the program’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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one 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. Obviously with the longer training comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.

The Role of a Dental Assistant in Decatur GA

Decatur GA dental assistant and oral surgeonDental assistants are an indispensable component of any Decatur GA dental practice and can carry out a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:

  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ 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 certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Assistant Training Options near Decatur GA

Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting 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 community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Decatur GA dental practices or dentists.

Dental Assistant Online Schools

attending dental assistant school online in Decatur GAEnrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Decatur GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs

Decatur GA dental assistant with dentist and patientWhen you have selected 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 beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Decatur GA area colleges 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 ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.

Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Decatur GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited Georgia colleges.

Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Decatur GA school you select has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a school 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.

Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Decatur GA area  school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Decatur GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 Decatur GA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.

Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Decatur GA area colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.

What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Decatur GA.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Decatur GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Decatur GA?

Following is some interesting background information about Decatur Georgia that you may find helpful.

Decatur, Georgia

Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census,[3] the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.

Decatur was established at the intersection of two Native American trails: ‚ÄČthe Sandtown, which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford, which follows today's Clairmont Road, and eventually crossed near Roswell. It was named for United States Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.

During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. In July 1864, Major-General James McPherson occupied the town to cut off the Confederates' supply line from Augusta. On July 22, during the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate cavalry under Major-General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson's supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A historical marker at the old courthouse marks the site of this skirmish.

The location could not be found.

Choose the Right Dental Assistant College near Decatur GA

Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately 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 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 ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Decatur GA.

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