How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Perkins Georgia
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Perkins GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as 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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Perkins GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with 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 can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing 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 have graduated 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 exams. 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 increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Perkins GA dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. 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 dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Perkins GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical 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 get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Perkins GA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Perkins GA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Perkins GA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Perkins GA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Perkins GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include 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 loans, grants and scholarships in the Perkins GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Perkins GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Perkins GA?
Perkins (also Perkins Station) is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Jenkins County, Georgia, United States. It lies a short distance east of U.S. Route 25 to the north of the city of Millen, the county seat of Jenkins County. Its elevation is 239 feet (73 m).
Find the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Perkins GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to acquire your education 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Perkins GA.
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