How to Become a Dental Assistant in Midland Georgia
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Midland GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should 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 Midland GA
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Midland GA dental practice and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling 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 most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Many dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Midland GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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. Whether you are interested in 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 Midland GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant course can be a viable option for receiving 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 accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Midland GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you want to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the Midland GA area schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Midland GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Georgia schools.
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 verify that the Midland GA college you decide on has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional 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 just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Midland GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Midland 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Midland GA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the Midland GA area schools you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Midland GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near your Midland 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 practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Midland GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Midland Georgia that you may find helpful.
Columbus is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia and the county seat of the consolidated Muscogee County. Columbus is the second-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2013 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 202,824 residents, with 316,554 in the greater Columbus-Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has an estimated population of 501,649. Situated at the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus is directly to the east across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, Alabama.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant Program near Midland GA
Selecting the right dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented 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 Midland GA.
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