How to Become a Dental Assistant in Thomson Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant school near Thomson GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one 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 finish. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant in Thomson GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Thomson GA dental office and can undertake a wide range of duties. Their primary job description is to provide support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Providing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Thomson GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they provide 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 almost 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 also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Thomson GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Selecting an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Thomson GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Thomson GA area schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Thomson GA frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available 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 make sure that the Thomson GA college you select offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because 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 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, clearly it would not be the best college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the Thomson GA area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Thomson 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 look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Thomson GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the Thomson GA area schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Thomson GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the assistant program provides 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 Thomson GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Thomson GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Thomson Georgia that you may find helpful.
Thomson (originally called Slashes) is a city in McDuffie County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,778 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of McDuffie County. Thomson's nickname is "The Camellia City of the South", in honor of the thousands of camellia plants throughout the city. Thomson was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson and incorporated February 15, 1854 as a town and in 1870 as a city. It is part of the Augusta – Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Thomson, originally called Slashes, was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson. In 1870, Thomson was designated seat of the newly formed McDuffie County. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1870.
The Old Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its original design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the home is said to be the home of ancestors of former president Jimmy Carter.
Find the Right Dental Assistant Program near Thomson GA
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When pursuing 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 addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Thomson GA.
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