How to Become a Dental Assistant in Statesboro Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental assistant training course near Statesboro GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually 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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will talk about 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 offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Statesboro GA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Statesboro GA dental practice and can undertake a multitude of functions. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and earn certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Statesboro GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia vocational 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 aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Statesboro GA dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program can be a great alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Statesboro GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Statesboro GA area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program 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 requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Statesboro GA often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Statesboro GA college you choose has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean all 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 solely interested in a dental assistant degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Statesboro GA area program you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Statesboro GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Statesboro GA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Statesboro GA area schools you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to 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 Statesboro GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near your Statesboro GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Statesboro GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Statesboro Georgia that you may find helpful.
Statesboro is home to the flagship campus of Georgia Southern University and is part of the Savannah–Hinesville–Statesboro Combined Statistical Area.  As of 2016, the Statesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Bulloch County, had an estimated population of 74,722. The city had an estimated 2016 population of 31,419. Statesboro is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Georgia. It is largest city in the Magnolia Midlands Region.
The city was chartered in 1803, starting as a small trading community providing basic essentials for surrounding cotton plantations. This drove the economy throughout the 19th century, both before and after the U.S. Civil War.
In 2017, Statesboro was selected in the top three of the national America's Best Communities competition and was named one of nine Georgia "live, work, play" cities by the Georgia Municipal Association.
Enroll in the Best Dental Assistant Program near Statesboro GA
Picking the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount 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 schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Statesboro GA.
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