How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Scottdale Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Scottdale GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Scottdale GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Scottdale GA dental offices are normally 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 almost 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Scottdale GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much 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 also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Scottdale GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Scottdale GA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Scottdale GA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Scottdale GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Scottdale GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Scottdale GA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Scottdale GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Scottdale GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need 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 responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Scottdale GA?
Scottdale, aka SCD is located at 33°47′40″N 84°15′44″W / 33.79444°N 84.26222°W / 33.79444; -84.26222 (33.794337, -84.262110). The unincorporated community is centered on East Ponce de Leon Avenue, between Decatur and Clarkston. The northern boundary is Stone Mountain Freeway; the eastern boundary is Interstate 285; the western boundary is roughly DeKalb Industrial Blvd.; and the southern boundary is roughly the city limits of Avondale Estates. The ZIP code for Scottdale is 30079.
According to the 2010 census, there were 10,631 people residing in the CDP. The racial makeup of the CDP was 29.9% White, 37.7% African American, 0.20% Native American, 23.0% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population. 12.7% of the population are Asian Indians. As of the census of 2000, there were 9,803 people, 4,010 households, and 2,201 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,818.2 people per square mile (1,087.6/km²). There were 4,236 housing units at an average density of 1,217.8/sq mi (470.0/km²). The racial makeup of Scottdale was 48.6% Black, 37.1% White, 0.19% Native American, 9.60% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 4,010 households out of which 67.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 69.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.1% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 39.3% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 64.4 males.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Scottdale GA
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options available to obtain 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 community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to 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 appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Scottdale GA.
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