How to Become a Dental Assistant in Eatonton Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Eatonton GA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess 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 closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should 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 available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Eatonton GA
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Eatonton GA dental practice and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Eatonton GA
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Eatonton GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Eatonton GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically 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 proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Eatonton GA area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Eatonton GA often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Eatonton GA school you decide on offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a college 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 Eatonton GA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Eatonton GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eatonton GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Eatonton GA area programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for learning 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 practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Eatonton GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Eatonton GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Eatonton GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Eatonton Georgia that you may find helpful.
Eatonton is a city in and county seat of Putnam County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,480. It was named after William Eaton, an officer and diplomat involved in the First Barbary War. The name consists of his surname with the English suffix "ton," meaning "town".
The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a Native American archaeological site, is located north of the city. It is one of two such sites east of the Mississippi River; both are in Putnam County. The mound and related earthwork constructions were made by Woodland culture peoples, perhaps as long ago as 1,000 to 3,000 years. The site within a 1500-acre park administered by the University of Georgia, which also maintains a 4-H camp nearby. The Mound has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Following the American Revolutionary War, Eatonton was founded in 1807 as the seat of newly formed Putnam County. After the war, settlers were moving west and settling in the upland Piedmont region to develop cotton plantations. Eatonton was incorporated as a town in 1809 and as a city in 1879.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Eatonton GA
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Eatonton GA.
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