How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Riverdale Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Riverdale GA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, such as the program’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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job 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 Riverdale GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed 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
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Riverdale GA dental practices 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 virtually 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Riverdale GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Riverdale GA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually 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 ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Riverdale GA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type 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 program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Riverdale GA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to get 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 establish professional relationships in the Riverdale GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Riverdale GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Riverdale GA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary 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 if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Riverdale GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Riverdale GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Riverdale GA?
Riverdale is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 15,134 at the 2010 census, up from 12,478 in 2000. Riverdale is a suburb just south of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The area now known as Riverdale was settled before the Civil War. In 1887, a railroad, built from Atlanta and Fort Valley, passed through Riverdale. Farmers in the area provided wood for the railroad. In turn, the farmers would get fertilizer. As the railroad grew, it needed more land. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Rivers donated their land for the railroad to grow, and their land grew to become one of the railroad's main stops.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,478 people, 4,389 households, and 3,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,926.3 people per square mile (1,130.9/km²). There were 4,590 housing units at an average density of 1,076.4 per square mile (416.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.09% White, 67.42% African American, 0.30% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.
There were 4,389 households out of which 44.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 25.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.32.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Riverdale GA
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Riverdale GA.
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