Frequently Asked Questions – Ballston Spa, NY
The Answers You Need
If you have questions about our dental assisting school, then you’re far from alone! We receive questions from prospective students every single day, and to help you save time, we’ve gone ahead and responded to some below. If there is anything else you’d like to know more about, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.
What does a dental assistant do?
Dental assistants are a very important part of the dental team. They help make patients comfortable, bring patients to and from the treatment area, set out all of the items needed by the doctor for treatment, take X-rays and impressions, pour models, process all of the contaminated instruments for reuse, and much more. No two days will ever be the same. If you like working with and helping people, you’ll love the dental assisting field!
Where are classes held?
Our school is held inside the dental office of Dr. Fred Dreher in Ballston Spa, New York. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.
When are classes held?
Depending on the time of year, classes are held either on Fridays or Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Is there tutoring available?
Tutoring is available at no charge to students that need extra help. An appointment must be made with an instructor for tutoring.
What percentage of students graduate?
100%! We’ve never had anyone fail our course.
Do you have job placement?
It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find a job after graduation. We take calls from local offices looking for help and will pass that information on to students seeking employment. We cannot guarantee employment, though. We also post job leads on our Facebook page. “Like” our page to receive announcements in your news feed.
What types of benefits do dental assistants have?
Most dental offices are independent businesses and therefore can offer any benefits they see fit. The average Full-Time Dental Assistant receives health insurance, sick time, vacation time, and usually a uniform allowance, as well as free dental work for themselves and immediate family members. Many doctors offer 401K plans; however, this can vary from office to office. It is important to ask about benefits when offered a position prior to accepting it.
How much do dental assistants earn?
The average dental assistant pay rate in this area is $15 an hour with benefits. The students that graduated and started working in Saratoga County were offered $10-12 starting pay. The students that went south to Troy, Latham, and Albany were offered $13-$15 per hour. Just as benefits vary from office to office, so will wages.
Do graduates find jobs?
Many motivated students find positions before they even graduate from our course!
Is there Federal Aid or Grant Money available for this course?
Unfortunately, there is not. Our program is too short to qualify for any State or Federal Aid.
Do you accept ACCES-VR?
Yes, we were recently approved as an ACCES-VR vendor! However, the number of ACCES-VR-sponsored students may be limited per session.
Is this course eligible for unemployment schooling assistance?
Yes, we participate with the NYS WIA (Workforce Investment Act) through the Department of Labor and the One-Stop Centers in each county. To see if you qualify for this funding, visit your local One-Stop Employment Center and call to schedule an appointment for a tour of our school.
Is there a place to eat lunch at the school?
We are happy to invite students to use our staff room as a student lunchroom. We have a microwave and refrigerator that students may use. Any student who wishes to stay at the school during the hour-long lunch break is welcome to do so.
What is included in the tuition?
Everything that you need to learn with us is included in your tuition. All of the materials, gloves, masks, and your textbook are included. The only additional expense is a uniform or set of scrubs, which is optional. CPR training is expected of dental assistants and is helpful to have when looking for a job. CPR is not part of our program; however, we can recommend a company that provides this training at an additional cost of $55.
What types of dental offices can I work in after I graduate?
You can work with general dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, periodontists, or endodontists.
What types of people usually take this course?
We have had students from all walks of life: single moms, CNA’s, nannies, moms returning to work, people tired of working in retail, hairdressers, and the very young to the mature. All have done well!
What if I don’t have a high school diploma or GED?
You may still be eligible to take our course if you can pass an ATB exam. ATB stands for Ability to Benefit Exam. It includes comprehension of the English language, basic reading, and grammar and math skills.
What payment options are available?
A discount of 5% is given to anyone who pays the full amount of their tuition one week or more prior to the start date of the class. We accept checks and all major credit cards. We also have “in-house’ payment plans that allow you to make a down payment and then additional weekly payments while you are in school.
What do I need to do to enroll?
New York State requires that all students physically come to the school and tour it before enrolling. Therefore, you must enroll in person. At the same time, you will have an interview with the Director of the school and receive information about the program. There is some short enrollment paperwork required. You must pay a non-refundable $100 registration fee to secure a place in the class.
What happens if I need to miss a class?
If you are ill, arrangements can be made to get you the missed lecture notes, and a time will be set to make up lab time and review information. If you know ahead of time that you will miss a class, the notes can be given to you in advance.
How many students are in each class?
We take a maximum of 12 students per class. During lab (our hands-on portion), there is a 4:1 student to teacher ratio. Our students get lots of one-on-one time with our experienced and caring instructors.
Will I be a licensed dental assistant when I am done with the course?
No, this is not a licensure course. Most of the dental assistants that you encounter in New York are not licensed. You do not need to have a license to work as a dental assistant in New York.
How can I become licensed?
There are two ways to become a certified dental assistant (CDA) in the state of New York. You can attend classes full-time normally for one year and then take the DANB exam OR you can work on the job for two to four years (a minimum of 2500 hours) and then take an online training course (the dentist you work for will be your clinical instructor to teach you the things that a CDA can do that a non-licensed dental assistant cannot). You will then need to take the DANB and apply to the state of New York for your CDA license. You are not required to obtain a license in the state of New York to work as a dental assistant.
Who is your governing body?
We are licensed as a private trade school by the New York State Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision. They routinely monitor the operations of our school. Our teachers are required to be licensed by New York State and are required to take 90 hours of classroom instruction for the adult learner.
Are you accredited?
Not at this time. We are licensed by New York State and our curriculum is approved by the New York State Education Department of BPSS.