How to Become a Dental Assistant in Ellenwood Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant program near Ellenwood GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account also, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial 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 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. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant in Ellenwood GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Ellenwood GA dental practice and can perform a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing 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 handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Education Programs near Ellenwood GA
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating 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 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 aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Ellenwood GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant school can be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Ellenwood GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Ellenwood GA area schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Ellenwood GA often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Ellenwood GA school you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Ellenwood GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Ellenwood GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Ellenwood GA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Ellenwood GA area schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Ellenwood GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Ellenwood GA home in the evenings 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 need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Ellenwood GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Ellenwood Georgia that you may find helpful.
Ellenwood is an unincorporated community in Clayton, Henry, Rockdale County and DeKalb counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The community is a southeast suburb of Atlanta and is located along Interstate 675 and GA state route 42
Choose the Best Dental Assistant College near Ellenwood GA
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is imperative if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 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 credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Ellenwood GA.
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