How to Become a Dental Assistant in Richmond Hill Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training course near Richmond Hill GA is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish 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 expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Richmond Hill GA
Dental assistants are an essential part of any Richmond Hill GA dental practice and can undertake a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing 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 differ by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Richmond Hill GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 clinical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Richmond Hill GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school may be a great option for receiving 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 rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Richmond Hill GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Richmond Hill GA area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Richmond Hill GA typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Richmond Hill GA college you decide on offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college 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 strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could 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 college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 Richmond Hill GA area college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Richmond Hill GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Richmond Hill GA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the Richmond Hill GA area programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater 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 few 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 Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Richmond Hill GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must make sure that the assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near your Richmond Hill GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical 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 emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Richmond Hill GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Richmond Hill Georgia that you may find helpful.
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Richmond Hill is a city in Bryan County, Georgia, United States. The population was 9,281 at the 2010 census, up from 6,959 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Richmond Hill is located along the eastern border of Bryan County at 31°56′17″N 81°18′49″W / 31.93806°N 81.31361°W / 31.93806; -81.31361 (31.938151, -81.313750). The Ogeechee River forms the eastern edge of the city (and the county line); an outlying portion of the city of Savannah is on the opposite side of the river.
U.S. Route 17 (Ocean Highway) passes through the city north of the original downtown. Interstate 95 passes through the western edge of the city, with access from Exit 87 (US 17) and Exit 90 (Georgia State Route 144/Ford Avenue). Downtown Savannah is 21 miles (34 km) to the north, and Brunswick is 58 miles (93 km) to the south.
Enroll in the Best Dental Assistant College near Richmond Hill GA
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive 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 attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Richmond Hill GA.
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