How to Become a Dental Assistant in Riverdale Georgia
Picking the ideal dental assistant program near Riverdale GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing 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 consider also, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at 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 Riverdale GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Riverdale GA dental practice and can undertake a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying 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 differ by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most 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 Education Programs near Riverdale GA
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Riverdale GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Choosing an online dental assistant course can be a viable option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Riverdale GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Riverdale GA area schools you are looking at in order to reach 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 best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Riverdale GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct 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 Riverdale GA school you decide on offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong 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 right college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Riverdale GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Riverdale 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 too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Riverdale GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Riverdale GA area programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Riverdale GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Riverdale GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Riverdale GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Riverdale Georgia that you may find helpful.
Riverdale is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 15,134 at the 2010 census, up from 12,478 in 2000. Riverdale is a suburb just south of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The area now known as Riverdale was settled before the Civil War. In 1887, a railroad, built from Atlanta and Fort Valley, passed through Riverdale. Farmers in the area provided wood for the railroad. In turn, the farmers would get fertilizer. As the railroad grew, it needed more land. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Rivers donated their land for the railroad to grow, and their land grew to become one of the railroad's main stops.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,478 people, 4,389 households, and 3,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,926.3 people per square mile (1,130.9/km²). There were 4,590 housing units at an average density of 1,076.4 per square mile (416.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.09% White, 67.42% African American, 0.30% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.
Find the Right Dental Assistant School near Riverdale GA
Picking the right dental assistant program is essential if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require approximately 1 year of study prior to entering the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Riverdale GA.
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