How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Gainesville Georgia
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Gainesville GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Gainesville GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results 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
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Gainesville GA dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical 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.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Gainesville GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gainesville GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided 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 Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Gainesville GA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Gainesville GA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective 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 Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Gainesville GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Gainesville GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Gainesville GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Gainesville GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Gainesville GA?
The city of Gainesville is the county seat of Hall County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 33,804. By 2015 the population had risen to an estimated 38,712. Because of its large number of poultry processing plants, it is often called the "Poultry Capital of the World". Gainesville is the principal city of, and is included in, the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia Combined Statistical Area.
Gainesville was established as "Mule Camp Springs" by European-American settlers in the early 1800s. Less than three years after the organization of Hall County on December 15, 1818, Mule Camp Springs was renamed "Gainesville" on April 21, 1821. It was named in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812 and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. Gainesville was selected to be the county seat and chartered by the Georgia General Assembly on November 30, 1821.
A gold rush that began in nearby Lumpkin County in the 1830s resulted in an increase in the number of settlers and the beginning of a business community. In the middle of the 19th century, Gainesville had two important events. In 1849, it became established as a resort center, with people attracted to the springs. In 1851, much of the small city was destroyed by fire.
After the Civil War, Gainesville began to grow from 1870. In 1871 the Airline Railroad, later named the Georgia Southern Railroad, began to stop in Gainesville, increasing its ties to other markets and stimulating business and population. It grew from 1,000 in 1870, to over 5,000 by 1900.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Gainesville GA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important 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 receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Gainesville GA.
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