How to Become a Dental Assistant in Waleska Georgia
Picking the right dental assistant training course near Waleska GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting 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 consider as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options available.
The Duties of Dental Assistants in Waleska GA
Dental assistants are an important part of any Waleska GA dental practice and can carry out a variety of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However most assistants perform any task that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. 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) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs near Waleska GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Waleska GA dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant school can be a good option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program 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 Waleska GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical 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 proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Waleska GA area programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Waleska GA typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited Georgia programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just verify that the Waleska GA school you decide on offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important 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. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Waleska GA area college you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Waleska GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Waleska GA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Waleska GA area schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Waleska GA.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to verify that the assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Waleska GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Waleska GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Waleska Georgia that you may find helpful.
The first white settlement in the Waleska area began in the early 1830s. Among these first pioneer settlers were the Reinhardt, Heard and Rhyne families, who moved into the region looking for fresh, fertile farm land. At first, these settlers lived among the Cherokee population already established in the area, but by 1838 all of the Cherokee had been forced westward to Oklahoma in the U.S. government relocation movement known as the Trail of Tears.
Early settler Lewis W. Reinhardt established a church in 1834 in the settlement known as Reinhardt Chapel and befriended many of the native Cherokee population. When the Trail of Tears forced the movement of Warluskee, the daughter of a local Cherokee chief and friend of Reinhardt's, westward, he named this settlement in her honor (see Funk Heritage Center below).
In 1883, Augustus M. Reinhardt, an Atlanta lawyer, former Confederate captain, and son of one of the founders of Waleska, along with his brother-in-law, former Civil War Lieutenant-Colonel John J. A. Sharp, founded Reinhardt Academy in Waleska for the impoverished children of Cherokee County. This school eventually became Reinhardt University.
Pick the Best Dental Assistant School near Waleska GA
Enrolling in the right dental assistant course is important if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about one year of study prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education 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 start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Waleska GA.
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