Dental Hygiene School Options in Atlanta
The Atlanta region is home to several schools that have programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene. Students seeking the academic training to become licensed dentists must look elsewhere because there are no dentistry programs within 50 miles of Atlanta. This article looks at three public schools within a half-hour's drive of downtown Atlanta that offer undergraduate degree programs in dental hygiene.
In addition to providing information about the degree programs, the article also offers a table of information about each school that includes enrollment figures, tuition and graduation rates. A paragraph of information about a few other Atlanta-area schools with dental hygiene and dental assisting programs is provided at the end of the article.
- Atlanta Technical College (ATC) offers a stand-alone course online that provides an overview of dental careers as well as an associate's degree program in dental hygiene. This school is just four miles from downtown.
- Clayton State University, a 4-year school approximately 16 miles south of downtown Atlanta, allows students to earn a joint bachelor's degree in dental hygiene and health care management.
- The Dunwoody campus of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) houses the school's Dental Hygiene Clinic and is about 19 miles from downtown. It offers an associate's degree program in dental hygiene.
Comparison of Schools
Individuals need to be aware of many important facts about a school when they are making a decision regarding their training. This table presents information in a format that makes comparisons simple.
|Atlanta Technical College||Clayton State University||Georgia Perimeter College - Dunwoody|
|School Type||2-year; public||4-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||4,282*||7,022*||21,371*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)||$2,746 in-state; $4,882 out-of-state*||$5,340 in-state; $15,596 out-of-state*||$3,213 in-state; $9,288 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||93%*||93%*||74%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||N/A - Open admissions||42%*||51%*|
|Retention Rate (2014)||56% for full-time students*||67% for full-time students*||61% for full-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||28% (Students began in 2011)*||33% (Students began in 2008)*||6% (Students began in 2011)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Atlanta Technical College
ATC is part of the Technical College System of Georgia. While the school has an open admissions policy, students entering the dental hygiene program are required to submit proof of hepatitis B and tuberculosis immunizations.
Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
ATC's Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in dental hygiene requires foundational courses in such subjects as physiology and microbiology, along with general education disciplines like math and English. Students additionally take classes in sociology and psychology. Specialized study in areas such as radiology, oral pathology, biochemistry, and periodontology are also part of the curriculum and often include both laboratory and lecture components.
Clayton State University
Clayton State's dental hygiene program retains eight faculty members, all of whom are registered dental hygienists or dentists. The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in dental hygiene is for students who are not already practicing professionally. The school offers a separate bachelor's degree program for those who have an associate degree in dental hygiene and are already registered dental hygienists.
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
This program comprises study in such subjects as dental materials, periodontics, dental anatomy, and dental histology. Coursework in clinical and dental pharmacology is also required, as are classes in nutrition and community dental health. Students choose from electives that cover topics including health care human resource management, epidemiology, public health administration, and pathophysiology, to name a few.
Georgia Perimeter College - Dunwoody
Before applying for the dental hygiene program at GPC, students must complete prerequisite courses in biology, some with laboratory study included. The dental hygiene program admissions process also includes a criminal background check.
Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene
GPC's dental hygiene program comprises study of topics such as public health, periodontics, and dental radiology. Students additionally undergo general education classes in subjects including chemistry, composition, and history, among others. Required laboratory courses allow students to provide professional care to patients under instructor supervision.
Other School Options
In addition to those above, there are a few schools further outside Atlanta that also have dental assisting or dental hygiene programs. Gwinnett Technical College is about 28 miles from downtown Atlanta and houses diploma programs in dental assisting and dental laboratory technology, as well as certificate programs in both basic and advanced dental assisting. Lanier Technical College (LTC) awards a diploma in dental assisting at its Forsyth campus in Cumming, GA, which is about 37 miles from downtown Atlanta. LTC also plans to begin offering an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program during the fall semester of 2014. Just under 50 miles from Atlanta is Gainesville State College, which confers an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene.