How to Become a Dental Assistant in Oconee Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Oconee GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing 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 crucial issues to consider also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first 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 have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Oconee GA
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Oconee GA dental practice and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so the majority of 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 dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Oconee GA
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia community 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 complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take 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 pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Oconee GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training
Selecting an online dental assistant school may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Oconee GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
When you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the Oconee GA area schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, 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 ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Oconee GA typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Oconee GA school you choose offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Oconee GA area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Oconee GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Oconee GA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Oconee GA area programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Oconee GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near your Oconee GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Oconee GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Oconee Georgia that you may find helpful.
Oconee County, Georgia
Oconee County was created from the southwestern part of Clarke County in 1875 by the Georgia General Assembly. The new county was created to satisfy southwestern Clarke County residents' demand for their own county after the county seat was moved from Watkinsville to Athens by the General Assembly in 1872. It is named for the river flowing along part of its eastern border.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 186 square miles (480 km2), of which 184 square miles (480 km2) is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) (1.1%) is water. The entirety of Oconee County is located in the Upper Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 32,808 people, 11,622 households, and 9,346 families residing in the county. The population density was 178.0 inhabitants per square mile (68.7/km2). There were 12,383 housing units at an average density of 67.2 per square mile (25.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.4% white, 5.0% black or African American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 2.0% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 19.9% were English, 14.7% were American, 13.3% were Irish, and 12.2% were German.
Find the Ideal Dental Assistant School near Oconee GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to obtain 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning 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 addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Oconee GA.
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