How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Watkinsville Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Watkinsville GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to 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 nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance 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 finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role 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 assists the Watkinsville GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually 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 perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled 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 added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Watkinsville GA dental offices are generally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Watkinsville GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Watkinsville GA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order 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 training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Watkinsville GA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Watkinsville GA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Watkinsville GA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater 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 sit in on a few classes at the Watkinsville GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Watkinsville GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Watkinsville GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Watkinsville GA?
Watkinsville is the largest city and seat of Oconee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,832. It served as the seat of Clarke County until 1872 when the county seat of that county was moved to Athens, a move which ultimately led to the creation of Oconee County in 1875. It is included in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,097 people, 827 households, and 578 families residing in the town. The population density was 650.6 people per square mile (251.4/km²). There were 862 housing units at an average density of 267.4 per square mile (103.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.08% White, 7.34% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.
There were 827 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Watkinsville GA
Picking the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning 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 appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Watkinsville GA.
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