Find Dental Assistant Schools | How to Become a Dental Assistant near Millen GA 30442

How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Millen 30442

dental assistant training in Millen GASelecting the right dental hygienist training near Millen GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.

The Function of Dental Assistants

Millen dental assistant helping dentist 30442Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Millen dental practice and can undertake a myriad of tasks. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, for example periodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to complete, including:

  • Setting and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
  • Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Function of a Dental Hygienist

Millen dental hygienist treating patient in GeorgiaWhen contrasting the job of a Millen dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Administering fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Educating patients regarding oral care
  • Taking X-rays and developing film
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options

Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Millen area dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Schools

attending dental assistant school online in Millen homeChoosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Millen home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental college is the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges

Questions to ask Georgia dental colleges 30442When you have picked the dental specialization and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Millen area programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should 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 ultimate selection of the best dental school for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Millen area employers typically desire or require that new hires 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 schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make sure that the college you decide on offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, a large number of Millen area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are just interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best school for you.

Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of Millen area dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental care for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Millen dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant or hygiene colleges require help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Georgia colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 30442 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near Millen at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Ideal Dental Program near Millen GA

Picking the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.

 

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