How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Felton 30140
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist training near Felton GA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about one year to complete 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 cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options available.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Felton dental office and can carry out a variety of duties. Their principal job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice running efficiently. Many Georgia dental assistants opt to specialize and earn certification in a particular area, for instance pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are asked to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Readying patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants handling X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. A large number of 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 Felton dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier mentioned, the dental assistant works with and in support of the practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the Georgia practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently 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 also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist and Assistant Education Options
Dental assistant programs are available at Georgia community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. The most typical credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are generally 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 almost 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 clinical aspect to the training also. Some programs also sponsor internships with Felton area dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Felton home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you want to earn, you can begin the procedure of comparing Felton area schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options 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 comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Felton area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
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 school you decide on has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Felton 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 school has a good reputation as well as 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 solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of Felton area dental schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides adequate 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, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional Felton 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygiene or assistant colleges need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the Georgia colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor 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 students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 30140 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Felton in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Choose the Best Dental Program near Felton GAEnrolling in the ideal dental hygienist or dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be practicing in just 9 months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.