Dental Hygienist Schools Near Me in Athens GA 30601

How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Athens Georgia

Athens GA dental hygienist with patientChoosing the right dental hygienist program near Athens GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally 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 lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.

The Function of a Dental Hygienist

Athens GA pediatric dental hygienist with patientWhen contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Athens GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual 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 may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing stains, tartar and plaque
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Applying sealants and polishing teeth
  • Instructing patients about oral hygiene
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

Dental Hygienist Education Options

Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Athens GA dental offices are usually 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Dental Hygienist Online Classes

attending dental hygienist school online in Athens GAChoosing an online dental hygienist program might be a good alternative for obtaining your education. 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Athens GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Dental  Hygienist Programs

teeth cleaned by Athens GA dental hygienistNow that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Athens GA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.

Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Athens GA employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.

Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Athens GA dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get 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 create professional relationships in the Athens GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Athens GA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Athens GA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.

 What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Athens GA area.

Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Athens GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Attending Dental Hygienist School near Athens GA?

Athens, Georgia

Athens (formally known as Athens-Clarke County) is a consolidated city–county and American college town in the U.S. state of Georgia, about 60 miles northeast from Downtown Atlanta. The University of Georgia, the state's flagship university and a Tier I research institution, is located in Athens and contributed to its initial growth. In 1991, after a vote the preceding year, the original city abandoned its charter to form a unified government with Clarke County, referred to jointly as Athens-Clarke County.[2] As of the 2010 census, the consolidated city-county (including all of Athens-Clarke County except Winterville and a portion of Bogart) had a total population of 115,452; all of Clarke County had a population of 116,714.[3] Athens is the sixth-largest city in Georgia, and the principal city of the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area,[4] which had a population of 192,541 as of the 2010 census and is a part of the larger Atlanta Metropolitan area.[5] Athens-Clarke County has the smallest geographical area of a county in Georgia.[citation needed]

The city is dominated by a pervasive student culture and music scene centered on Downtown Athens adjacent to the University of Georgia campus.[6] Major music acts associated with Athens include numerous alternative rock bands such as R.E.M., the B-52's, Widespread Panic, and the Indigo Girls.

In the late 18th century, a trading settlement on the banks of the Oconee River called Cedar Shoals stood where Athens is located today. On January 27, 1785, the Georgia General Assembly granted a charter by Abraham Baldwin for the University of Georgia as the first state-supported university. Sixteen years later, in 1801, a committee from the university's board of trustees selected a site for the university on a hill above Cedar Shoals, in what was then Jackson County. On July 25, John Milledge, one of the trustees and later governor of Georgia, bought 633 acres (256 ha) from Daniel Easley and donated it to the university. Milledge named the surrounding area Athens after the city that was home to the Platonic Academy of Plato and Aristotle in Greece.[7]

The first buildings on the University of Georgia campus were made from logs. The town grew as lots adjacent to the college were sold to raise money for the additional construction of the school. By the time the first class graduated from the university in 1804, Athens consisted of three homes, three stores, and a few other buildings facing Front Street, now known as Broad Street. Completed in 1806 and named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin College was the first permanent structure of the University of Georgia and of the city of Athens. This brick building is now known as Old College.

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Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Athens GA

Picking the right dental hygienist program is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Athens GA.

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