How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Fayetteville Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Fayetteville GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties 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 Fayetteville GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Fayetteville GA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Fayetteville GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fayetteville GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fayetteville GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical 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 would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Fayetteville GA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fayetteville GA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Fayetteville GA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fayetteville GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Fayetteville GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fayetteville GA?
Fayetteville is a city in Fayette County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 15,945, up from 11,148 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Fayette County. Fayetteville is located 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Atlanta.
In 2015 the small majority-white city elected its first African-American mayor, Edward Johnson, a retired US navy commander and pastor. In 2011 he was elected as the first black city council member. He was a three-term president of the NAACP.
Fayetteville was founded in 1822 as the seat of the newly formed Fayette County, organized by European Americans from territory ceded by force the Creek people under a treaty with the United States during the early period of Indian removal from the Southeast. Both city and county were named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero the French Marquis de Lafayette. Fayetteville was incorporated as a town in 1823 and as a city in 1909.
The area was developed for cotton plantations, with labor provided by enslaved African Americans, who for more than a century comprised the majority of the county's population. Fayetteville became the trading town for the agricultural area.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Fayetteville GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program 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 many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively 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 programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fayetteville GA.
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