How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Tifton Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Tifton GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much 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 residence. There are other significant factors to consider 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 complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Tifton GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Tifton GA dental practices are generally 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Tifton 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 charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Tifton GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Tifton GA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Tifton GA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive 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 create professional relationships in the Tifton GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Tifton GA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Tifton GA dental hygienist college 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 training can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Tifton GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Tifton GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Tifton GA?
The area's public schools are administered by the Tift County School District, including two high schools. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has its main campus in Tifton. Southern Regional Technical College and the University of Georgia also have Tifton campuses.
Sites in the area include the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. The Tifton Residential Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Tifton Gazette is published three days a week in Tifton.
Tifton is located in south central Georgia along Interstate 75, which runs north to south through the city, leading north 167 mi (269 km) to Atlanta and south 45 mi (72 km) to Valdosta. Other highways that pass through the city include U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 319, and Georgia State Route 125.
Henry Tift Myers Airport (IATA: TMA, ICAO: KTMA, FAA LID: TMA) is a public airport located two miles (3 km) southeast of Tifton, serving the general aviation community, with no scheduled commercial airline service.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist School near Tifton GA
Enrolling in the ideal 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 we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Tifton GA.
More Great Cities in Georgia