How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist School near Du Pont 31630
Choosing the ideal dental assistant school near Du Pont GA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Du Pont dental office and can perform a variety of tasks. Their main job description is to furnish support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Giving instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Du Pont dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. As previously mentioned, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. 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 gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Georgia junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Some programs also sponsor internships with Du Pont area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Du Pont home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist or Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Du Pont area programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Georgia programs you are comparing 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 right dental college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Du Pont area employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just confirm that the college you choose offers 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 earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Du Pont area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear 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 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, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of Du Pont area dental programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional Du Pont dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygiene or assistant schools require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the Georgia programs you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 31630 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Du Pont in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Dental School near Du Pont GAEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental hygienist or assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining either a certificate or a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.