How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Program near Woodbury 30293
Selecting the right dental hygienist training near Woodbury GA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete for a certificate or diploma. However, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Woodbury dental practice and can perform a multitude of functions. Their main job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Many Georgia dental assistants elect to specialize and obtain certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. However most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Woodbury dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the Georgia practice, work 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 room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about 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 graduate 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 licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Georgia community colleges as well as trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with Woodbury area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant school can be a great option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Woodbury home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. 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 reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Programs
Once you have selected the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Woodbury area programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia schools you are looking at in order to make 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 best dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Woodbury area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make sure that the college you select 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 work as a hygienist, a large number of Woodbury area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are available. However, keep in mind that just because 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 school 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 school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most Woodbury area dental schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Woodbury dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene colleges need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Georgia programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 30293 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Woodbury in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Dental College near Woodbury GAEnrolling in the right dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you want to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of education or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.