How to Become a Dental Assistant in Griffin Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Griffin GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Griffin GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Griffin GA dental office and can perform a variety of functions. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing 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 elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Griffin GA
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing 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 Griffin GA dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Griffin 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 have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Griffin GA area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Griffin GA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct 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 Griffin GA school you decide on offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent 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 primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Griffin GA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Griffin GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Griffin GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Griffin GA area colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can vary in cost depending on the length 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 come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Griffin GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Griffin GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Griffin GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Griffin Georgia that you may find helpful.
Griffin Technical College was located in Griffin from 1963 and a branch of Southern Crescent Technical College is in Griffin. The Griffin Synodical Female College was established by Presbyterians but closed. The University of Georgia maintains a branch campus in Griffin.
In 1938, Alma Lovell had been distributing religious Bible tracts as a Jehovah's Witness but was arrested for violating a city ordinance requiring prior permission for distributing literature. In Lovell v. City of Griffin, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the city had violated her First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The Griffin Commercial Historic District (among the National Register of Historic Places listings in Spalding County, Georgia) is generally bounded by Central Alley, Sixth Street, Taylor Street and Eighth Street. The district includes the Griffin Grocery Company Building, now the Griffin Regional Welcome Center.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant School near Griffin GA
Picking the right dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Griffin GA.
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