How to Become a Dental Assistant in Lawrenceville Georgia
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Lawrenceville GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’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 time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However 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 expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional 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 a Dental Assistant in Lawrenceville GA
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Lawrenceville GA dental office and can perform a myriad of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Lawrenceville GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. 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 trade schools and community colleges. 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 Lawrenceville GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Lawrenceville GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Lawrenceville GA area programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Lawrenceville GA frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Lawrenceville GA college you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong 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 college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Lawrenceville GA area school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Lawrenceville GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Lawrenceville GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Lawrenceville GA area schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Lawrenceville GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near your Lawrenceville GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Lawrenceville GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Lawrenceville Georgia that you may find helpful.
Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of downtown. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lawrenceville was 28,546. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city population to be 30,493. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes (30042-30046, 30049), and it is part of the 678/770/404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.
Lawrenceville was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on December 15, 1821. This makes Lawrenceville the second oldest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The city is named after Commodore James Lawrence, commander of the frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. Lawrence, a native of New Jersey, is probably best known today for his dying command, "Don't give up the ship!" William Maltbie, the town's first postmaster, suggested the name of "Lawrenceville".
In 1821, a permanent site for the county courthouse was selected and purchased, the four streets bordering the square were laid out along with other streets in the village, and a public well was dug. Major Grace built the first permanent courthouse, a brick structure, in 1823-24 for a cost of $4,000. The courthouse presently on the square was constructed in 1885.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Lawrenceville GA
Picking the right dental assistant course is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require approximately one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lawrenceville GA.
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