How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Duluth Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Duluth GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, such as the school’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Duluth GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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. When 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 Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Duluth GA dental offices are normally required to hold 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 nearly every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Duluth GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Duluth GA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Duluth GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Duluth GA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Duluth GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Duluth GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Duluth GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Duluth GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Duluth GA?
Duluth is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, Duluth had a population of 26,600, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population to be 29,331 as of 2016.
Duluth is located north of Interstate 85. It is home to Gwinnett Place Mall, the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center, Infinite Energy Arena, Hudgens Center for the Arts, and the Red Clay Theater. It is also home to Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, an 81-bed hospital constructed in 2006, as well as GMC's Glancy Campus, a 30-bed facility located near downtown. The agricultural manufacturer AGCO is based in Duluth.
Duluth was originally Cherokee territory. When Duluth was established in the early 19th century, it was primarily forest land occupied by tribespeople. An Indian trail, called Old Peachtree Road by the settlers, was extended through the area during the War of 1812 to connect Fort Peachtree in present-day Atlanta with Fort Daniel near present-day Dacula. When Gwinnett County was established in 1818, white settlement of the area accelerated.
Cotton merchant Evan Howell constructed a road connecting his cotton gin at the Chattahoochee River with Old Peachtree Road, creating Howell's Cross Roads. The settlement later became known as "Howell's Crossing". Howell was the grandfather of Atlanta Mayor Evan P. Howell and great-grandfather of Atlanta Constitution publisher Clark Howell. His descendants continue to live in the area, but only Howell Ferry Road in Duluth bears the name.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Duluth GA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Duluth GA.
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