How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Oakwood Georgia
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Oakwood GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Oakwood GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Oakwood GA dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a great alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Oakwood GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oakwood GA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Oakwood GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Oakwood GA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Oakwood GA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Oakwood GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether 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 costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Oakwood GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Oakwood GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oakwood GA?
Oakwood is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,970 at the 2010 census, up from 2,689 in 2000. Oakwood is home to the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and Wayne Farms.
Oakwood is located southwest of the center of Hall County at 34°13′52″N 83°52′57″W / 34.23111°N 83.88250°W / 34.23111; -83.88250 (34.230976, −83.882364). It is bordered to the northeast by the city of Gainesville, the county seat, and to the southwest by the city of Flowery Branch.
Oakwood was named after the railroad tracks that ran, and still are running as of 2008, through Oakwood and Gainesville. Because most of the cars contained wood (particularly high quality oak), it seemed reasonable to name the city after that type of lumber.
Oakwood was initially called "O'Dell's Crossing" for its main landowner, Ulysses S. O'Dell Sr. The O'Dell home place was located only a few hundred feet from the railroad track. The name changed in 1896 because Southern Railway trains would stop on the way from Atlanta to Gainesville to get oak wood for their engines.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Oakwood GA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oakwood GA.
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