How to Become a Dental Assistant in Woodbury New Jersey
Selecting the ideal dental assistant program near Woodbury NJ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in obtaining 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 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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Woodbury NJ
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Woodbury NJ dental practice and can undertake a myriad of functions. Their main job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the New Jersey dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Options near Woodbury NJ
Dental assistant programs are available at New Jersey community colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about a year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. 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 New Jersey 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 component to the training also. Many programs also sponsor internships with Woodbury NJ dentists or dental practices.
Dental Assistant Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program may be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Woodbury NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing New Jersey schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Woodbury NJ area schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Woodbury NJ typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited New Jersey colleges.
Is The Proper Dental Program Available? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make certain that the Woodbury NJ college you decide on offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that even if a college has an excellent reputation and 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 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 ideal college for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Woodbury NJ area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Woodbury NJ dental practice. They help 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 Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Woodbury NJ dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Woodbury NJ area programs you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Woodbury NJ.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near your Woodbury NJ home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Woodbury NJ?
Following is some interesting background information about Woodbury New Jersey that you may find helpful.
Woodbury, New Jersey
Woodbury is a city in Gloucester County, New Jersey, in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the city's population was 10,174, reflecting a decline of 133 (-1.3%) from the 10,307 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 597 (-5.5%) from the 10,904 counted in the 1990 Census. Woodbury is the county seat of Gloucester County.
Woodbury was originally formed as a borough on March 27, 1854, within Deptford Township, based on the results of a referendum held on March 22, 1854. On January 2, 1871, Woodbury was reincorporated as a city, based on the results of a referendum held that day.
The Inspira Health Network is based in Woodbury. The now-defunct Woodbury Country Club operated in Woodbury from 1897 to 2010, closing due to declining membership and mounting debt that led to a bankruptcy filing by the club.
Pick the Ideal Dental Assistant College near Woodbury NJ
Enrolling in the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly 1 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 training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Woodbury NJ.
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