How to Become a Dental Assistant in Stone Mountain Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant program near Stone Mountain GA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year 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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Stone Mountain GA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Stone Mountain GA dental practice and can carry out a variety of functions. Their fundamental job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental 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 need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options near Stone Mountain GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Stone Mountain GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Selecting an online dental assistant course may be a good option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Stone Mountain GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting 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 clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
After you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Stone Mountain GA area programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Stone Mountain GA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited Georgia programs.
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 make sure that the Stone Mountain GA school you choose has the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a school has a good reputation and accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 right college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Stone Mountain GA area school you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Stone Mountain GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Stone Mountain GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Stone Mountain GA area colleges you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Stone Mountain GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? 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 getting your education and need to go to classes near your Stone Mountain 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Stone Mountain GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Stone Mountain Georgia that you may find helpful.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. Stone Mountain is located in the eastern part of DeKalb County and is a suburb of Atlanta. It lies near to but does not include the geological formation Stone Mountain.
In 1822, the area that now makes up the city of Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed DeKalb County. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then hike up the 1.1-mile (1.8 km) mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club.
By 1839, a general store was added, and a village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia legislature in 1847. The town is named for nearby Stone Mountain. During the Civil War, Stone Mountain village was destroyed by men under the command of General James B. McPherson on July 19, 1864.
Pick the Right Dental Assistant College near Stone Mountain GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to acquire your education 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 programs generally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly one year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Stone Mountain GA.
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