How to Become a Dental Assistant in Palmetto Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant program near Palmetto GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Palmetto GA
Dental assistants are an important component of any Palmetto GA dental office and can perform a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Palmetto GA
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges along with 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 expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three 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 interested in earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Palmetto GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Palmetto GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed 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 mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Palmetto GA area programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, 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 establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Palmetto GA often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
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 confirm that the Palmetto GA college you select has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation as well as 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 only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Palmetto GA area college you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Palmetto GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Palmetto GA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Palmetto GA area colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Palmetto GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Palmetto GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Palmetto GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Palmetto Georgia that you may find helpful.
Palmetto (established 1853) is a city located mostly in Fulton County (originally Campbell County) and now partly in Coweta County in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,488 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.6 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.4 square miles (30 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 1.60%, is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,488 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 56.9% Black, 26.9% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 12.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Dental Assistant School near Palmetto GA
Choosing the ideal dental assistant course is important if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Palmetto GA.
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