How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Collins 30421
Selecting the right dental assistant training near Collins GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting 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 1 year to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should 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 available.
The Role of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Collins dental practice and can carry out a multitude of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Georgia dental assistants elect to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are called upon to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and verifying 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
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines more than 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 Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a Collins dental assistant to that of a hygienist, 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, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at Georgia junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating 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 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 trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Collins area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Collins home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
After you have decided on the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the procedure of comparing Collins area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Collins area employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just verify that the school you choose has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to work as a hygienist, most Collins area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not common, are offered. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean each one 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 primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many Collins area dental colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Collins dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out 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 refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the Georgia colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger 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 so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 30421 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Collins 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 practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Dental College near Collins GAPicking the right dental assistant or dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a degree or a certificate you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of education or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.