How to Pick a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Rockmart 30153
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Rockmart GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about 12 months to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Function of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an indispensable part of any Rockmart dental office and can perform a wide range of functions. Their principal job description is to furnish assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of Georgia dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for instance periodontics. Even so most assistants carry out any job that they are asked to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a Rockmart dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. As earlier 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 a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant programs are offered at Georgia junior colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential attained is the certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs available, 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 generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well. Some programs also offer internships with Rockmart area dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant program might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Rockmart home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist or Assistant Schools
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to obtain, you can begin the procedure of comparing Rockmart area programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Georgia colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Rockmart area employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
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 choose has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. If you want to earn a living as a hygienist, many Rockmart area dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but might 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 college for you.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of Rockmart area dental colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real Rockmart 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 Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene programs require assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the Georgia programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene and dental assistant training 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 private or public 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the 30153 area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Rockmart at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Program near Rockmart GAPicking the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically earn either an Associate Degree or a certificate. Dental Assistants can be practicing in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to 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 in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.