Accredited Dental Assistant Programs | How to Become a Dental Hygienist near Shiloh GA 31826

How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Shiloh 31826

dental assistant training in Shiloh GAChoosing the ideal dental assistant program near Shiloh GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the college’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 depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, 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 cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the colleges you are assessing 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

Shiloh dental assistant helping dentist 31826Dental assistants are an integral part of any Shiloh dental office and can undertake a variety of functions. Their main job description is to give assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Some Georgia dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. However the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to complete, for example:

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

Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check 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) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Role of Dental Hygienists

Shiloh dental hygienist treating patient in GeorgiaWhen contrasting the job of a Shiloh dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:

  • Removing tartar, stains and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients about 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist and Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to hold 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. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Shiloh area dental practices or dentists.

Dental Online Training Programs

attending dental assistant school online in Shiloh homeChoosing an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a good option for obtaining your education. 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Shiloh home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental program is the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Programs

Questions to ask Georgia dental colleges 31826Once you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Shiloh area schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Georgia schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental program for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, 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 establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Shiloh area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.

Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you choose offers the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Shiloh area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a school has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid 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 school for you.

Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of Shiloh area dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers 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, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Shiloh dental practice. They help 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 as well.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.

Are Classes Small? Ask the Georgia colleges you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.

 What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 31826 area.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Shiloh at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Find the Right Dental School near Shiloh GA

Enrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.

 

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