How to Find the Right Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Dawson 31742
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Dawson GA is an important 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 doing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial 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 invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. However, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Duties of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable component of any Dawson dental practice and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their principal job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working efficiently. Some Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are called upon to complete, including:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Prepping X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling 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) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a Dawson dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant 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 a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist & Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most common credential earned is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they provide a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental assistant or hygienist, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with Dawson area dentists or dental practices.
Dental Online Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant or hygienist program can be a good option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Dawson home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees 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 completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental program is the right option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Assistant or Hygienist Colleges
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Dawson area programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options also. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the Georgia colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist or assistant school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Dawson area employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is The Correct Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the college you decide on has the program that you want. 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, a large number of Dawson area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are offered. However, bear in mind that just because a college 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 may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, clearly it would not be the best school for you.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most Dawson area dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real Dawson dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing 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 profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the Georgia schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 31742 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Dawson at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Find the Best Dental Program near Dawson GAChoosing the right dental hygienist or dental assistant course is essential if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually obtain either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining either a degree or a certificate you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist or assistant.