ALBANY, GEORGIA – The Dental Assisting diploma program at Albany Technical College was recently ranked the #3 Dental Assistant School in Georgia for the year 2019-20. The ranking was established through Nursingprocess.org after thoroughly evaluating all dental assistant schools across the state.
The Dental Assisting Program can be completed in 3 to 4 semesters, depending on whether a student has completed their core curriculum or how many hours the student can manage per semester. The program takes students any semester, but a cohort of students start each fall and work through a curriculum together to reach the same academic degree together.
Currently, there are forty-four Dental Assisting majors at Albany Technical College with 18 in the current cohort. After these students graduate, they are certified in Dental Radiography and Georgia Expanded Functions, meaning that a person who has completed the courses can perform specific tasks legally in the state of Georgia. The role of Dental Assistants is governed by the Georgia State Board of Dentistry. It has expanded over time.
Ivey Spears, Department Chair of the Dental Assisting Program at Albany Tech said, “In the last three years our students have placed in the top three at the state level Skills USA competition. Last year, one of our students received the Bronze medal in Dental Assisting at the National SkillsUSA Competition.” This achievement is impressive because at that level, the competition is fierce, with more than 19,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses, and labor unions participated in the activities. The final competition was the annual SkillsUSA Championships on June 26-27, 2019, with hands-on skill and leadership contests. SkillsUSA is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as a verified talent pipeline and skills-gap solution provider. With more than 360,000 members in 4,000 schools in all 50 states, SkillsUSA graduates more than 100,000 students each year who are job-ready day one, prepared for employment or higher education.
According to Dental Assisting National Board, Inc (www.danb.org), A dental assistant in Georgia may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by the state dental practice act and by the rule of the Board under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. A dental assistant must acquire appropriate training before performing phlebotomy and venipuncture procedures. To use rubber cup prophy on primary dentition, a dental assistant must complete a curriculum approved by the Georgia Board of Dentistry or a minimum of eight hours of on-the-job training in the provision of rubber cup prophies by a dentist licensed to practice in Georgia. To perform expanded functions under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist in the state of Georgia, a dental assistant must earn status as an Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA). Students at Albany Technical College also have an option to take the Dental Assisting National Board exam, although the state does not require this, it is an option to advance credentials.
Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people, and an increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations will fuel demand for dental services. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ assistants or have employed fewer, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to use one or more assistants. Also, as dentists’ workloads increase, they are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures.
The median annual wage for dental assistants was $ 38,660 per year in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount, and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,940, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,800.CITATION of Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (visited October 10, 2019).
Pictured L-R: Sarah Braziel, Dental Assisting student; Ivey Spears, Chair/Instructor Dental Assisting program. won the Bronze medal in Dental Assisting at the SkillsUSA national competition June 26 in Louisville, Kentucky. This convention, the 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, is the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. More than 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students competed hands-on in 103 different trade, technical and leadership fields. This is a significant accomplishment seeing as all of the students must compete and win local and state levels before entering the national competition.
About Albany Technical College
A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1 .
Nursingprocess.org is an online resource that simplifies access to nursing and healthcare education and career information, thereby helping students make better choices. Currently, the site reaches out to more than 100,000 students every month, from all over the country.
SkillsUSA is a United States career and technical student organization serving more than 395,000 high school, college and middle school students and professional members enrolled in training programs in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations.