How to Become a Dental Assistant in Stockbridge Georgia
Picking the ideal dental assistant school near Stockbridge GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, for instance 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 depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Stockbridge GA
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Stockbridge GA dental office and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for instance orthodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Stockbridge GA
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. These programs can require 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 community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Stockbridge GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant course might be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Stockbridge GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Stockbridge GA area colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Stockbridge GA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
Is The Proper 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 Stockbridge GA college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. 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 school may have a solid 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, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Stockbridge GA area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Stockbridge GA dental practice. They help 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching 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 Stockbridge GA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Stockbridge GA area colleges you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Stockbridge GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Stockbridge GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need 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 issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Stockbridge GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Stockbridge Georgia that you may find helpful.
The area was settled in 1829 when Concord Methodist Church was organized near present-day Old Stagecoach Road. It was granted a post office on April 5, 1847, named for a traveling professor, Levi Stockbridge, who passed through the area many times before the post office was built. He was said to be well known and respected in his namesake community. Others contend that the city was named after Thomas Stock, who was State Surveyor and president of the Georgia State Senate in the 1820s.
In 1881, the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad was to pass through Stockbridge between Macon and Atlanta. The settlers who owned the land about Old Stockbridge asked such a high price for their land that two prominent Atlanta citizens, John W. Grant and George W. Adair, bought a tract about a mile south of Old Stockbridge and offered lots at a reasonable price. Here the railroad built their depot and many lots were sold. The depot was located about 600 feet (180 m) north of what is now North Henry Blvd but was destroyed by the Southern Railway in the early 1980s.
On May 6, 1992, Mayor Rudy Kelley received a letter from John Stockbridge of South Carolina requesting a letter of "Greeting" from the City of Stockbridge to the attendees of the first reunion of the Stockbridge family. In his letter, he mentioned that he grew up in Georgia and had been told as a child that the city of Stockbridge was named after his great-great-grandfather Levi Stockbridge, who had traveled back and forth from the North to his property in Florida and stopped here on his journey.
Choose the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Stockbridge GA
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately one year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Stockbridge GA.
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