How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Winterville Georgia
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Winterville GA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the college’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. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role 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 in support of the Winterville GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Winterville GA dental practices are generally 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 virtually 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| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally 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 Winterville GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Winterville GA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program 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 planning 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 college 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. Winterville GA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Winterville GA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive 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 form professional relationships in the Winterville GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching 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 Winterville GA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Winterville GA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience 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 vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Winterville GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Winterville GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Winterville GA?
Winterville is a city in Clarke County, Georgia, United States. Since 1991, Winterville has been the only municipality located wholly within Athens-Clarke County. The population was 1,122 at the 2010 census.
Winterville is located at 33°58′00″N 83°16′54″W / 33.966720°N 83.281669°W / 33.966720; -83.281669, a 6-mile (10 km)–drive from the University of Georgia. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,122 people, 485 households, and 318 families residing in the city. The population density was 431.5 people per square mile (162.6/km2). There were 529 housing units at an average density of 203.5 per square mile (76.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.35% White, 21.84% African American, 0.36% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 3.57% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 5.26% of the population.
There were 485 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.84.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Winterville GA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Winterville GA.
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