How to Become a Dental Assistant in Valdosta Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant training course near Valdosta GA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant school with the lowest 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 college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish 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. Obviously with the longer training comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options provided.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Valdosta GA
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Valdosta GA dental practice and can carry out a myriad of tasks. Their primary job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, such as pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Valdosta GA
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting 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 vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Valdosta GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Schools
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Valdosta GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialization and kind of credential you want to attain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Valdosta GA area programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college 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 Valdosta GA typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Valdosta GA college you select offers the program that you want. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could 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 school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Valdosta GA area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Valdosta 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 are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental assistant schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Valdosta GA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the Valdosta GA area colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental assistant programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Valdosta GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Valdosta GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required 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 emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Valdosta GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Valdosta Georgia that you may find helpful.
Valdosta is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, located on the southern border of Georgia, United States. As of 2013, Valdosta has a total population of 56,481, and is the 14th largest city in Georgia.
Valdosta is the home of Valdosta State University, a regional university in the University System of Georgia with over 10,900 students. The local public Valdosta High School has the most winning football program of any high school in the United States.
Valdosta was incorporated on December 7, 1860, when it was designated by the state legislature as the new county seat, formerly at nearby Troupville. The railroad was built to Valdosta that year, rather than Troupville, stimulating development in the new county seat. Many citizens of Troupville had already relocated to Valdosta when the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built four miles (about 6 km) away. On July 4, 1860, the engine known as Satilla No. 3 pulled the first train into Valdosta on the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.
Enroll in the Right Dental Assistant School near Valdosta GA
Selecting the right dental assistant program is imperative 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 acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Valdosta GA.
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