How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Dawsonville Georgia
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Dawsonville GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Dawsonville GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Dawsonville GA dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a viable option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Dawsonville GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community 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 program is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Dawsonville GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Dawsonville GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Dawsonville GA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Dawsonville GA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Dawsonville GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether 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 expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Dawsonville GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Dawsonville GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Dawsonville GA?
Dawsonville was founded in 1857 as seat of the newly formed Dawson County. It was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1952. The community and the county are named for state senator William Crosby Dawson.
The community is at the junction of State Routes 9, 53, and 136. SR 9 leads northeast 14 miles (23 km) to Dahlonega and south 17 miles (27 km) to Cumming, while SR 53 leads southeast 6 miles (10 km) to U.S. Route 19 and west 24 miles (39 km) to Jasper. SR 136 also leads to Jasper, on a 29-mile (47 km) route that runs further to the north through the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As of the census of 2000, there were 619 people, 234 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.9 people per square mile (123.8/km²). There were 257 housing units at an average density of 133.2 per square mile (51.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.97% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.
There were 234 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.88.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Dawsonville GA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Dawsonville GA.
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