How to Become a Dental Assistant in Norcross Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant training course near Norcross GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, 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 be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Norcross GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Norcross GA dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. 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. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Norcross GA
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant 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. Regardless of whether you are interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Norcross GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Selecting an online dental assistant course might be a great option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Norcross GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Norcross GA area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Norcross GA typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited Georgia programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Norcross GA college you select has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one 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, obviously it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Norcross GA area school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Norcross 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 are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Norcross GA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Norcross GA area schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost based 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 public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Norcross GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Norcross GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Norcross GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Norcross Georgia that you may find helpful.
Norcross is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 9,116, while in 2015 the estimated population was 16,634. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville combined statistical area.
The city sits along the Eastern Continental Divide. Streams to the west of the city center travel to the Chattahoochee River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, while streams to the east flow to the Yellow River, a tributary of the Ocmulgee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean north of Brunswick. This divide, or ridge, played a significant role in the early settlement of the area. Originally, the Creek and Cherokee people occupied this land, and the ridgeline was used as a major transportation route. Two American forts were established in the early 19th century due to the War of 1812: Fort Daniel (at Hog Mountain) and Peachtree Fort (in Atlanta). These two forts were connected by this old Indian trail which became known as the original Peachtree Road. By around 1840, this trail had evolved into a stagecoach route connecting South Carolina and Alabama through Georgia. The surrounding area became populated, and the small communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill prospered.
This all changed with the creation of the Richmond-Danville Railroad, designed to open up the wilderness areas of northeast Georgia. The railroad was proposed in 1856 by Jonathan Norcross (a former Atlanta mayor) and was subsequently approved. Construction was delayed, however, until 1866 because of the Civil War. On September 12, 1869, the first 20 miles (32 km) were completed. On October 16, 1889, John J. Thrasher bought the 250 acres (1.0 km2) surrounding the terminal for $1,650, and a town was born – named for Thrasher's good friend, Jonathan Norcross. The Brunswick Hotel was built in 1870, and Norcross quickly became known as a resort area, much like East Lake, for Atlantans wanting to escape the rapidly growing city. The new town also meant the demise of the surrounding communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill, as people migrated in to build houses, churches, schools, and to be near the railroad.
Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Norcross GA
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period 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 normally obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Norcross GA.
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