How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Forest Park Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Forest Park GA is an important 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 much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Forest Park GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Exam as well as 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 increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Forest Park 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 complete 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school can be a great option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Forest Park GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper 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 ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Forest Park GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Forest Park GA employers often 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 colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Forest Park GA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Forest Park GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Forest Park GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Forest Park GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Forest Park GA 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 procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Forest Park GA?
Forest Park, Georgia
Forest Park is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. It is located approximately nine miles (14 km) south of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 18,468.
Originally the third stop from Atlanta on the Macon and Western Railroad, the city was incorporated in 1908. The 1,465-acre (5.93 km2) Fort Gillem was founded nearby in 1941 and was annexed into the city in 1973.
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,468 people, 6,877 households, and 4,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,990.9 people per square mile (882.8/km²). There were 7,233 housing units at an average density of 771.5 per square mile (297.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.2% White, 37.7% African American, 0.50% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.3% of the population.
There were 6,845 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 22.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.42.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Forest Park GA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Forest Park GA.
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