How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Morven 31638
Picking the right dental assistant college near Morven GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess 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 college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in receiving training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options provided.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Morven dental office and can perform a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and receive certification in a particular area, such as periodontics. However most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering 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 policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have 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 Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a Morven dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often 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 virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Morven area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist school can be a great option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Morven home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental online program is the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Morven area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Morven area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose 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 enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to have a career as a hygienist, most Morven area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most Morven area dental programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Morven dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Georgia schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses 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 31638 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Morven at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in 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 responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Dental College near Morven GAEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.