How to Choose a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Warner Robins 31088
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Warner Robins GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options provided.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Warner Robins dental practice and can carry out a wide range of tasks. Their primary job description is to furnish assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. A number of Georgia dental assistants elect to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, such as periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any duty that they are asked to complete, including:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a Warner Robins dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the Georgia practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia community colleges in addition to vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require 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 community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Warner Robins area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental assistant or hygienist college may be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Warner Robins home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical 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 receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental online program is the ideal option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have decided on the dental specialty and kind of credential you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of comparing Warner Robins area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Warner Robins area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain 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. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Warner Robins area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, keep in mind that even if a college has a good reputation and 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 could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many Warner Robins area dental colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional Warner Robins 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 look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the Georgia colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 31088 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Warner Robins in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Ideal Dental College near Warner Robins GASelecting the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant course is imperative if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.