How to Become a Dental Assistant in Macon Georgia
Choosing the right dental assistant training course near Macon GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Macon GA
Dental assistants are an integral component of any Macon GA dental practice and can carry out a myriad of duties. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Macon GA
Dental assistant programs are provided at Georgia community colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting 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 vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Macon GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant course might be a good alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Macon GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the Macon GA area programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Macon GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Macon GA school you choose offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an excellent 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 might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Macon GA area school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Macon GA dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Macon GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Macon GA area schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Macon GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near your Macon GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical 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 emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Macon GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Macon Georgia that you may find helpful.
Macon /ˈmeɪkən/ (officially Macon–Bibb County) is a city located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
Located near the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, Macon is the county seat of Bibb County and had a 2014 estimated population of 153,691. Macon is the principal city of the Macon metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 231,259 in 2014. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area (CSA), a larger trading area with an estimated 417,473 residents in 2014; the CSA abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north.
In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County, and Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Augusta). The two governments officially merged on January 1, 2014.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant College near Macon GA
Picking 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 several alternatives available to receive 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Macon GA.
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