How to Become a Dental Assistant in Lithia Springs Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant school near Lithia Springs GA is an important initial step toward beginning 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 doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally 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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations 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 provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Lithia Springs GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Lithia Springs GA dental practice and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Lithia Springs GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Lithia Springs GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Lithia Springs GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies 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 necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Lithia Springs GA area colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order 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 training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Lithia Springs GA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Georgia programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Lithia Springs GA school you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a school has a good 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 might 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 right college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Lithia Springs GA area program you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Lithia Springs GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lithia Springs GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the Lithia Springs GA area colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount 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 along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Lithia Springs GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near your Lithia Springs GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Lithia Springs GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Lithia Springs Georgia that you may find helpful.
Lithia Springs, Georgia
Lithia Springs is a census-designated place and unincorporated area, formerly incorporated as a city, located in northeastern Douglas County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a population of 15,491. The area is named for its historic "lithia" mineral water springs.
Incorporated in 1882, Lithia Springs was dissolved the first time in 1933. Lithia Springs became incorporated again in 1994, to be Douglas County's second completely internal municipality, but disincorporated again in 2001.
In 2001, the citizens voted (80% yea, 20% nay) on March 20 to dissolve the city charter and de-incorporate the city, transferring all assets to the county. The referendum that ended the town was part of the settlement in a lawsuit brought by city residents charging the city should be dissolved because it did not deliver enough services to justify its existence under state law. During its incorporation until 2001, the former city had five mayors.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant School near Lithia Springs GA
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require roughly 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 asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Lithia Springs GA.
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