How to Become a Dental Assistant in Thomasville Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near Thomasville GA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving 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 one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and additional 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 duties of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants in Thomasville GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Thomasville GA dental office and can undertake a multitude of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, such as orthodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Thomasville GA
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take 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 community colleges and technical schools. 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 sponsor internships with Thomasville GA dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Thomasville GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Thomasville GA area colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, 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 Thomasville GA often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia colleges.
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 verify that the Thomasville GA school you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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, naturally it would not be the ideal school for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Thomasville GA area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Thomasville GA dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Thomasville GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the Thomasville GA area colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Thomasville GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near your Thomasville GA home at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Thomasville GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Thomasville Georgia that you may find helpful.
The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.
In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second best historic small town on USA Today's 10 Best List Reader's Choice after Bisbee (Arizona) but ahead of Abingdon (Virginia), Mackinac Island (Michigan), and Astoria (Oregon).
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.
Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Thomasville GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about one year of study prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Thomasville GA.
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