How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Colquitt 31737
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist training near Colquitt GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program generally takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Colquitt dental practice and can carry out a myriad of duties. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. Some Georgia dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Colquitt dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Georgia practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant & Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as technical or vocational schools. The most common credential attained is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Colquitt area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Colquitt home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
When you have selected the dental specialization and kind of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Colquitt area programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Colquitt area employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just verify that the school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Colquitt area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of Colquitt area dental colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Colquitt dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the Georgia colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 31737 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Colquitt in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, 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 issues.
Find the Ideal Dental College near Colquitt GAChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.