How to Become a Dental Assistant in Lagrange Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant school near Lagrange GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to 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 Job of Dental Assistants in Lagrange GA
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Lagrange GA dental office and can perform a wide range of duties. Their principal 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 instance pediatrics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need 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 Lagrange GA
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. 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 as well. Some programs also offer internships with Lagrange GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course may be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lagrange GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Lagrange GA area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Lagrange GA often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Lagrange GA college you select offers the program that you want. However, keep 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 school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental programs have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Lagrange GA area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Lagrange GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lagrange GA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Lagrange GA area colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Lagrange GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Lagrange GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Lagrange GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Lagrange Georgia that you may find helpful.
LaGrange is a city and the county seat of Troup County, Georgia, United States. The population of the city was estimated to be 30,452 in 2013 by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is the principal city of the LaGrange, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama (part) Combined Statistical Area. It is about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Atlanta and located in the foothills of the Georgia Piedmont.
LaGrange is home to LaGrange College, the oldest private college in the state. Started as a girls' academy, it has been affiliated since the late 19th century with the Methodist Church, and what is now the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. The city's proximity to West Point Lake, a few miles to the west, helps attract bass fishermen and water sports enthusiasts to the city.
LaGrange is named after the country estate near Paris of the wife of the Marquis de La Fayette. When La Fayette, a Revolutionary War hero, visited Georgia in 1825 on a national tour, he remarked on the similarity of local topography to his wife's property.
Find the Best Dental Assistant Program near Lagrange GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam 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 fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lagrange GA.
More Awesome Georgia Cities
Business Results 1 - 10 of 19