Tag Archives: Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene Athens AL 35611

Dental Hygiene Degree Schools near Athens AL 35611

How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Athens Alabama

Athens AL dental hygienist cleaning patient's teethChoosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Athens AL is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 1 year to finish for a diploma or certificate. Meanwhile, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options available.

The Duties of a Dental Hygienist

Athens AL dental hygienist assisting dentistWhen contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the dental hygienist works more independently. As earlier discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Athens AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:

  • Removing plaque, tartar and stains
  • Applying fluoride treatments
  • Polishing teeth and applying sealants
  • Teaching patients about oral care
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Applying fillings and removing sutures

In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.

The Role of a Dental Assistant

training as a dental hygienist in Athens ALDental assistants are an integral component of any Athens AL dental practice and can carry out a variety of functions. Their principal job description is to provide assistance to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice running successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for instance pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to complete, including:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
  • Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
  • Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
  • Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
  • Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
  • Ordering office and dental supplies

Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so check with the Alabama dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be certified and licensed. Most dental assistants who are either required or decide to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Dental Hygienist & Assistant Training Options

Dental assistant courses are offered at Athens AL area community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. The most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about a year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. 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 also offered in Athens AL area trade schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a clinical aspect to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.

Online Dental Hygienist Classes

attending dental hygienist school online in Athens ALSelecting an online dental hygienist school may be a viable option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Athens AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools

Once you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you want to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing Alabama programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Athens AL area colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.

Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Athens AL typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited Alabama programs.

Is The Appropriate Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant or a dental hygienist, just make certain that the Alabama school you select has the program that you want. For the assistant program, the alternatives are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to earn a living as a hygienist, the majority of Athens AL dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. Higher degrees, although not common, are offered. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but may have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are primarily interested in a dental hygiene degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.

Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the Athens AL college you choose offers clinical rotation in a regional dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.

Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Athens AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygiene colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Athens AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.

Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the Alabama programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.

What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Athens AL.

Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you need to confirm that the hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near your Athens AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Hygienist?

When getting ready to interview for a Dental Hygienist position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Dental Hygiene applicants is "What compelled you to choose Hygiene as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a Dental Hygienist, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Hygiene, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent Dental Hygienist and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.

Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Athens AL

Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Athens AL.

A Bit About Athens Alabama

Athens, Alabama

Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818.[2][8] The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.[9]

The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, and its second Governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.[10]

In 1822, local residents purchased 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land and constructed a building to house the Athens Female Academy. The school became affiliated with the Methodist church in 1842, and was eventually renamed Athens Female College. After becoming coeducational in 1932, the school changed its name again to Athens College. After being taken over by the State of Alabama in 1974, the college was converted to a “reverse junior college,” offering the last two years of instruction for graduates of area community colleges. It is today known as Athens State University.[11]

 

 

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