How to Become a Dental Assistant in Thomaston Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Thomaston GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the longer training comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Role of a Dental Assistant in Thomaston GA
Dental assistants are an important component of any Thomaston GA dental office and can perform a variety of tasks. Their principal job description is to provide support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. 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 choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Thomaston GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Thomaston GA dental practices or dentists.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant course may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Thomaston GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical 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 get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Thomaston GA area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Thomaston GA typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia programs.
Is The Appropriate 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 Thomaston GA college you choose has the program that you want. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might 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 best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Thomaston GA area college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Thomaston GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Thomaston GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the Thomaston GA area colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, 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 in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Thomaston GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Thomaston GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Thomaston GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Thomaston Georgia that you may find helpful.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Thomaston GA
Choosing the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require roughly 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Thomaston GA.
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