How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Lakeland Georgia
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Lakeland GA is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account also, including the program’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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Lakeland GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may 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
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Lakeland GA dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Lakeland GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office 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 method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lakeland GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lakeland GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 Lakeland GA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Lakeland GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lakeland GA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Lakeland 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 making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Lakeland GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Lakeland GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lakeland GA?
Lakeland is a city in Lanier County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Lanier County. It is part of the Valdosta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,730 at the 2000 census.
Originally called Alapaha and then Milltown or Mill Town, Lakeland received its current name in 1925 in honor of its proximity to Grand Bay Lake, Lake Erma, and Banks Lake. For many years, Lakeland owned and operated its own railroad.
Numerous festivals are held in the county throughout each year, one of which is the Flatlanders Frolic Arts and Crafts Show. This event features bluegrass music, a road race and various other Labor Day weekend events. Also held in Lanier County is the Living Murals Celebration, held in the spring, and most recently the Georgia Deep Woods Deerfest, a festival featuring wild game suppers and firearms giveaways.
By the early 1840s, a community known as Alapaha had come into existence along the road from Waresboro, Georgia to Troupville, Georgia. By the late 1850s, Alapaha had become known as Milltown. Lakeland, originally known as Milltown. Milltown was incorporated in 1901. In 1919, Milltown was designated seat of the newly formed Lanier County. In 1928, the city was incorporated and renamed to its present form of Lakeland.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Lakeland GA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining 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 provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lakeland GA.
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