How to Become a Dental Assistant in Forest Park Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Forest Park GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish 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 complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Forest Park GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Forest Park GA dental office and can carry out a wide range of functions. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will have 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 provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Forest Park GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Forest Park GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant program can be a great alternative 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 balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Forest Park GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting 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 needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Forest Park GA area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify 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 Forest Park 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, often they are not obtainable 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 Forest Park GA college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Forest Park GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Forest Park GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Forest Park GA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Forest Park GA area colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers 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 practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Forest Park GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Forest Park GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Forest Park GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Forest Park Georgia that you may find helpful.
Forest Park, Georgia
Forest Park is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. It is located approximately nine miles (14 km) south of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 18,468.
Originally the third stop from Atlanta on the Macon and Western Railroad, the city was incorporated in 1908. The 1,465-acre (5.93 km2) Fort Gillem was founded nearby in 1941 and was annexed into the city in 1973.
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,468 people, 6,877 households, and 4,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,990.9 people per square mile (882.8/km²). There were 7,233 housing units at an average density of 771.5 per square mile (297.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.2% White, 37.7% African American, 0.50% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.3% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Forest Park GA
Picking the right dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually 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 decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Forest Park GA.
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