How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist College near Suches 30572
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Suches GA is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial 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 time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about one year to complete for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Suches dental practice and can perform a multitude of duties. Their main job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Georgia dental assistants choose to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any task that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling 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 regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Suches dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia junior colleges along with technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about one year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally required to have 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 nearly 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 clinical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also offer internships with Suches area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Colleges
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program might be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember 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 personal computer in the convenience of your Suches home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental program is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to attain, you can start the process of comparing Suches area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Suches area employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, many Suches area dental offices 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 a good reputation and 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 only interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many Suches area dental schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Suches dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Georgia colleges you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 30572 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Suches at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need 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 work, illness or family issues.
Find the Right Dental Program near Suches GAEnrolling in the right dental assistant or dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options 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 training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.