How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Ludowici 31316
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Ludowici GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most common dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Job of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Ludowici dental office and can carry out a multitude of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working efficiently. A number of Georgia dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants carry out any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a Ludowici dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Georgia practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Ludowici area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Ludowici home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental college is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Ludowici area schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the Georgia colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order 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. Ludowici area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the college you choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, a large number of Ludowici area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental assistant program, but may 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 right college for you.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many Ludowici area dental programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, practical experience in a real Ludowici dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the Georgia programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 31316 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Ludowici in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Find the Ideal Dental School near Ludowici GAChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire 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 junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in just nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.