How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Alpharetta Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Alpharetta GA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Alpharetta GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as 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 in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Alpharetta GA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Alpharetta GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Alpharetta GA, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Alpharetta GA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Alpharetta GA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, practical 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering 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 Alpharetta GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Alpharetta GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Alpharetta GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Alpharetta GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Alpharetta GA?
Alpharetta is a city located in northern Fulton County, Georgia, United States and is a suburb of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, Alpharetta's population was 57,551. The estimated population in 2014 was 63,038.
In the 1830s, the Cherokee people in Georgia and elsewhere in the South were forcibly relocated to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) under the Indian Removal Act. Pioneers and farmers later settled on the newly vacated land, situated along a former Cherokee trail stretching from the North Georgia mountains to the Chattahoochee River.
One of the first permanent landmarks in the area was the New Prospect Camp Ground (also known as the Methodist Camp Ground), located beside a natural spring near what is now downtown Alpharetta. It later served as a trading post for the exchanging of goods among settlers.
Known as the town of Milton through July 1858, the city of Alpharetta was chartered on December 11, 1858, with boundaries extending in a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) radius from the city courthouse. It served as the county seat of Milton County until 1931, when Milton County was merged with Fulton County to avoid bankruptcy during the Great Depression.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Alpharetta GA
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to obtain 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning 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 best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Alpharetta GA.
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