How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Palmetto Georgia
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Palmetto GA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically 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 issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Palmetto GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting 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 each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed 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 increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Palmetto GA dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Palmetto GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Palmetto GA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Palmetto GA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Palmetto GA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Palmetto GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Palmetto GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Palmetto GA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Palmetto GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Palmetto GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Palmetto GA?
Palmetto (established 1853) is a city located mostly in Fulton County (originally Campbell County) and now partly in Coweta County in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,488 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.6 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.4 square miles (30 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 1.60%, is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,488 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 56.9% Black, 26.9% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 12.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,400 people, 1,223 households, and 881 families residing in the city. The population density was 656.2 people per square mile (253.4/km²). There were 1,283 housing units at an average density of 247.6 per square mile (95.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.41% White, 44.18% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.38% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.62% of the population.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Palmetto GA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Palmetto GA.
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