How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Preston Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Preston GA is an important first step toward starting 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 performing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. 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 expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job 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 Preston GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Preston GA dental practices are often 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 nearly 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great option for getting your education. Just keep in mind 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 provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Preston GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. 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 lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Preston GA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid 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 nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program 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. Preston GA employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Preston GA dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. 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 develop professional relationships in the Preston GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Preston GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Preston GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Preston GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Preston GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Preston GA?
Preston is an unincorporated community in Webster County, Georgia, United States, located seventeen miles west of Americus. The population was 453 at the 2000 census. From 1857 to 2009, Preston was an incorporated municipality. The community is the county seat of Webster County.
Preston was founded in 1856 as the seat of Webster County. It was incorporated as a town in 1857 and as a city in 1977. In 2009, the city was disincorporated and became part of the Unified Government of Webster County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 453 people, 190 households, and 129 families residing in the town. The population density was 100.1 people per square mile (38.6/km²). There were 205 housing units at an average density of 45.3 per square mile (17.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.77% White, 28.26% African American, 0.22% Native American, 3.53% from other races, and 0.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.75% of the population.
There were 190 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.93.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist College near Preston GA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is crucial 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 several alternatives offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Preston GA.
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