How to Become a Dental Assistant in Locust Grove Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant training course near Locust Grove GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months 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 accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Locust Grove GA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Locust Grove GA dental practice and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working 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) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Locust Grove GA
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia community colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical 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 classes. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Georgia community colleges and technical schools. 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 also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Locust Grove GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course might be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Locust Grove GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Locust Grove GA area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Locust Grove GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Locust Grove GA school you choose has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a school 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 solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Locust Grove GA area school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Locust Grove GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Locust Grove GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Locust Grove GA area schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Locust Grove GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your Locust Grove 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 policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Locust Grove GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Locust Grove Georgia that you may find helpful.
Locust Grove, Georgia
Locust Grove is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,402 at the 2010 census, up from 2,322 in 2000. Some unincorporated communities such as Luella and many rural areas surround Locust Grove, and those communities have Locust Grove postal addresses.
The city of Locust Grove derived its name from a grove of locust trees that could be seen throughout the town. Locust Grove was a major rail distribution center for cotton, peaches and other farm products. The city had three cotton gins and several warehouses. In 1870, the first store was built on Main Street. Since that time many new businesses have moved to Locust Grove.
In 1893, the town was incorporated and the papers were officially signed on December 20, 1893. The original city limit extended one mile north and south from the train depot in the heart of town and a half-mile east and west of the railroad. The city government consisted of a mayor and five council members. The first to fill these positions were appointed until elections could take place. The first mayor was M.P. Sowell. Those appointed to the first city council were G.P. Combs, C.M. Mahone, J.L. Garnder, R.C. Brown and W.H. Peek. The first city clerk was C. W. Williams.
Choose the Best Dental Assistant Program near Locust Grove GA
Selecting the right dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining 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 asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Locust Grove GA.
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