How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Clarkston Georgia
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Clarkston GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Clarkston GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Clarkston GA dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Clarkston GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Clarkston GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are reviewing 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 right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Clarkston GA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Clarkston GA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Clarkston GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Clarkston GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Clarkston GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Clarkston GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Clarkston GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Clarkston GA?
The city is noted for its ethnic diversity, and is often referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America" and "the Ellis Island of the South." In the 1990s refugee resettlement programs identified Clarkston as a good fit for displaced persons of many backgrounds. The rental market was open, residents were moving farther out from the Atlanta urban core, and Clarkston was the last stop on a transit line into the city. By the 2000s the local high school had students from more than 50 countries; a local mosque had 800 worshipers; and by some estimates, half the population was from outside the U.S.
A post office called Clarkston has been in operation since 1876. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1882 as the "Town of Clarkston", with municipal corporate limits extending in a one-half mile radius from the Georgia Railroad depot. The community was named after W. W. Clark, a railroad official.
As of 2010 Clarkston had a population of 7,554. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 13.6% white (13.1% non-Hispanic white), 58.4% black or African American (57.9% non-Hispanic black), 0.2% Native American, 4.8% Vietnamese, 16.8% other Asian, 2.1% from some other race and 4.1% from two or more races. 2.8% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,231 people, 2,469 households, and 1,587 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,856.3 people per square mile (2,659.0/km²). There were 2,622 housing units at an average density of 2,486.1 per square mile (964.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.44% White, 55.66% African American, 0.11% Native American, 12.57% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.56% from other races, and 9.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Clarkston GA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Clarkston GA.
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