How to Become a Dental Assistant in Elberton Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Elberton GA is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, 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 be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Elberton GA
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Elberton GA dental practice and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their principal job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing 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 policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Elberton GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Elberton GA dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant course might be a good option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Elberton GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Elberton GA area schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Elberton GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available 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 make certain that the Elberton GA school you select has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a school 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 solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers sufficient 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, confirm that the Elberton GA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Elberton GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Elberton GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Elberton GA area schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Elberton GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Elberton GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Elberton GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Elberton Georgia that you may find helpful.
Elberton is the largest city in Elbert County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,653 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Elbert County, and serves as a hub for industry and small business in Northeast Georgia.
Settled in the 1780s, Elbert was designated seat of the newly formed Elbert County in 1790. It was incorporated as a town in 1803 and as a city in 1896. Like Elbert County, Elberton is named for Samuel Elbert.
Elberton is located near the center of Elbert County at 34°6′35″N 82°51′56″W / 34.10972°N 82.86556°W / 34.10972; -82.86556 (34.109628, -82.865669). State Routes 17 and 72 pass east-west through the center of town as College Avenue, while 77 crosses north-south on Oliver Street. GA 17 leads northwest 19 miles (31 km) to Royston and southeast 29 miles (47 km) to Washington, GA 72 leads east 15 miles (24 km) to the South Carolina border at Richard B. Russell Lake on the Savannah River and west 35 miles (56 km) to Athens, and GA 77 leads north 18 miles (29 km) to Hartwell and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Lexington.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant Program near Elberton GA
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training 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 by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Elberton GA.
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